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Lynn Russell Chadwick (England 1914-2003)

”Walking couple II”

To be sold at Uppsala Auktionskammare’s Important Sale: Modern & Contemporary 18 – 20 May 2022

Lot 338 Lynn Russell Chadwick (England 1914-2003). ”Walking couple II”. Signed with initial C and dated and numbered 75 693 6/8. Patinated bronze, Height 31 cm.

Executed in 1975.


250.000 – 300.000 SEK
€ 24.000 – 29.000


Dennis Farr and Eva Chadwick, Lynn Chadwick: Sculptor, With a Complete Illustrated Catalogue 1947-1988, 1990, p. 274, cat. no. 693, illustration of another cast p. 275.

In context

Lynn Russell Chadwick’s “Walking couple II” 

– A wonderful example of his depiction of motion

“The important thing in my figures is always the attitude – what the figures are expressing through their actual stance. They talk, as it were, and this is something a lot of people don’t understand”. 

The fascinating sculptures by Lynn Chadwick are immediately distinguishable. Their style resembles no other with their geometrically simplified forms but yet majestic and strong features. Through his unique method of working, the significant characteristics of his figures regarding balance, form, line and attitude come alive and awaken curiosity and associations. He mainly created his sculptures with single or paired figures but sometimes as groups, and in order to understand and appreciate the sculptures they need to be viewed at the correct height according to the artist. For Lynn Chadwick that meant that the head of a figure should be at eye height. A sculpture made by Lynn Chadwick may almost come across as a modernist architecture. Unlike many other modernist artists, he did not find inspiration among classical sculptures. Instead, he was basically an autodidact and invented his own methods for creating his distinguished sculptures. 

Regarded today as one of the most important post-war British sculptors, Chadwick made his debut as one of the next generations of sculptors at the British Pavilion of the 1952 Venice Biennale. During World War II, Chadwick worked as a RAF pilot and when the war finally came to an end he was longing to continue his career in art and to begin the creation of something new. Before the year of 1939 he worked as a draughtsman at an architect’s office, a position he returned to even after the war. It took a few years before Chadwick dared to take the step fully towards a career as an artist, and until the late 1940 s he made his living working as a designer and interior architect. The art from the following years after World War II and especially his first artwork was strongly influenced by the experiences from his serving time in war. His very first creations were abstract kinetic constructions, not entirely three-dimensional but with the nature of flattened structures. They are sometimes compared to Alexander Calder’s mobiles due to the linked, balanced forms that floated freely in space. Very few of these early sculptures exist today. The abstract forms soon evolved into animal-like sculptures and the shape developed into more massive volumes. At the 28th Venice Biennale, he mastered this technique fully and was awarded the prestigious International Prize for Sculpture. This was the definite breakthrough for Chadwick, who after the reward got acknowledged internationally and sold numerous works to both public and private collections.  

Towards the end of the 1950s, Chadwick began to cast his sculptures in bronze. This development also meant that he could expand his practice from unique sculptures into editions. The texture of the surface was very important to Chadwick who devoted many hours to achieve the right patina. As his own methods improved, his sculptures developed over the years. The first ideas of a figurative sculpture were brought to light early in his career when Chadwick started to grow an interest in the human figure and its movements, but in the 1970s they reached a new level and became standardized in his production. The constellation and postures of the figures varies, sometimes they are dancing or walking but there are also many examples of winged, seated or reclining formations.  The relationship between the figures was a theme that Chadwick returned to many times during his lifetime, as the quote mentioned above clearly shows. It was of great importance to Chadwick not to provide the viewer with any explanations about his artworks. Instead, he wanted the viewer to approach his sculptures with an open mind and free imagination. 

The sculpture ”Walking couple II” made by Lynn Chadwick during the 1970s, is an exquisite example of his tremendous skills as an artist. It shows the artist’s true ability to create a sense of movement in his sculpture, even with the use of many straight lines. The woman and man are similar but not completely alike. During this period in his life, he began to develop a visual code where the male figures had rectangular heads and the females had triangular heads. The genders are being distinguished in a subtle yet significant way, which further reinforces the picture of Chadwick as one of the most skilled pioneers of the 20th century.

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Jeanna Ahlin


Modern & Contemporary Art
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Sofie Bexhed

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