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lynn r. chadwick (1914-2003) – sitting couple

Sold for SEK 340.000 at Uppsala Auktionskammare’s Important Sale 11-14 June 2019

Lot 606. Lynn Russell Chadwick (England 1914‑2003). Sitting couple. Signed, dated and numbered Chadwick 75 E/2 3/8. Foundry mark Lypiatt Foundry, England. Patinated bronze, Height 21, Length 28, Width 36 cm.


150.000 – 200.000 SEK
€ 14.000 – 19.000


A Swedish Private Collection, acquired directly from the artist.
Thence by descent to the present owner.


Dennis Farr and Eva Chadwick, Lynn Chadwick: Sculptor, With a Complete Illustrated Catalogue 1947‑1988, 1990, cat. no. 708, illustrated.

In context

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 the 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 start 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 fully commit himself into pursuing a career as an artist, and until the late 1940’s he made his living working as a designer and interior architect. His works dating from the following years after the World War II and especially his early pieces were 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 works of art exists today. The abstract forms soon evolved into animal-like sculptors 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 1950’s, 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 1970’s 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.

Included in this sale is a wonderful example of Chadwick’s production from the mid 1970’s. Dating from 1975, “Sitting couple” shows a female and male figure sitting together and glancing at each other. During this period in his life, he began to develop a visual code where the male figures had rectangular heads and the female 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 ablest pioneers of the 20th century.

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Jeanna Ahlin


Modern och samtida konst
Tel: 0734-32 41 45

Fredrik Fellbom


Skulptur och grafik
Tel: 0707-51 81 31

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