Lynn Chadwick (British, born November 24, 1914–died April 25, 2003) found international recognition when he became the youngest person ever to win the Venice Biennale’s prized sculptor award. His career spanned over 50 years, but he did not always plan on being an artist. He was born in London, and studied at the Merchant Taylor School in France. After moving back to England, he worked for several architects in London during the 1930s. Working as an architectural draughtsman helped Chadwick to hone his drawing and compositional skills. After serving in the British army during World War II, Chadwick returned to the architectural business, this time working with famed architect, Rodney Thomas. Thomas persuaded him to begin creating mobiles, which were designed to hang from the ceiling, not unlike the sculptures of Alexander Calder.

While creating these transformative sculptures, the artist started designing in other media with Thomas’s encouragement. His success led to his first solo show in 1950, and this achievement inspired Chadwick to continue his exploration of sculpture, though he began creating more grounded and stable works in metal. The artist partook in his first Venice Biennale at the British Pavilion in 1952, and, in 1956, he was awarded the prize for sculpture at the event. It was there that he and his contemporaries exhibited their new style of sculpture, using iron structures and hardware-inspired constructions that emphasized line and form.

Chadwick preferred not to sketch his pieces, arriving at his final compositions through welding steel rods to create shapes that interacted with the space around them. Later, he experimented with bronze casting and works inspired by the human form, as evident in his Winged Figures series.

Chadwick was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1964, an honor that solidified his place in British art history, and led to his works being part of many international collections around the world. He died in his home in Gloucestershire, England in 2003 at the age of 88.

Timeline

1914
Born in Barnes, UK
1933–1939
Trained as an architectural draughtsman
1941–1944
Pilot in Fleet Air Arm, Royal Navy
1947
First mobile shown at Building Trades Exhibition
1944–1949
Returned to work for architect Rodney Thomas, London
1949
Small mobile for the window of Gimpel Fils, London, as part of a mixed exhibition
1950
First one-man show at Gimpel Fils, London
1947–1952
Produced textile, furniture, and architectural designs
1953
One of the 12 semi-finalists for The Unknown Political Prisoner International Sculpture Competition
1956
Won the International Prize for Sculpture, XXVIII Biennale, Venice
1958
Moved to Lypiatt Park
1959
Won first prize, III Concorso Internazionale del Bronzetto, Padua
1961
Exhibited hors concours at VI Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil
1962
Prize winner at VII Esposizione di Bianco e Nero, Lugano
1962
Artist in residence for a term at Ontario College of Art, Toronto
1962
Took part in a sculpture project for Italsider S.p.A, Genoa with Alexander Calder and David Smith for the Festival dei Due Monde, Rome
1964
Appointed Commander, Order of the British Empire (CBE)
1965
Elected member of the Academia di San Luca, Rome
1968
Environmental sculpture for Milan Esposizione Triennale
1988
Invited by the Director of the XLIII Venice Biennale to contribute Back to Venice for a special international sculpture survey
1988
Appointed to the Order of Andres Bello, First Class, Venezuela
1993
Created Commandeur, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France
1995
Created Associate, Academie Royale de Belgique
1995
Honorary Fellow, Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education
1998
Honorary Fellow, Bath Spa University College, Bath
2001
Elected Senior Royal Academician, Royal Academy of Arts, London
2003
Died on April 25, at Lypiatt Park, buried there in the Pinetum
2004
Awarded the Goldhill Award for Sculpture, Royal Academy of Arts

Exhibitions

2007
Lynn Chadwick: Prints and Maquettes, Gallery Pangolin, Gloucestershire (solo)
2006
Beaux Arts, London (solo)
2006
Osborne Samuel, London (solo)
2005
Celebrating Chadwick, The Museum in the Park, Gloucestershire (solo)
2004
Canary Wharf, Osborne Samuel Gallery, London (solo)
2004
Lynn Chadwick 1914 - 2003, Dexia, Luxembourg curated by Gallery Pangolin (solo)
2003
Coming from the Dark, Gallery Pangolin, Gloucestershire (solo)
2003
Tate Britain, Duveen Galleries, London (solo)
2002
Buschlen Mowatt Gallery, Palm Desert, California (solo)
2002
Tasende Gallery, Los Angeles, California (solo)
2001
Beaux Arts, London (solo)
2001
JGM Galerie, Paris (solo)
1999
Beaux Arts, London (solo)
1996
Gimpel Fils and Berkeley Square Gallery, London (solo)
1996
Symbols for ’51, The Royal Festival Hall, London
1996
Les Champs de la Sculpture, Champs Elyseés, Paris
1994
A Changing World of Sculpture from the British Council Collection, The State Museum, St Petersburg, Russia
1994
Beaux Arts, Bath (solo)
1993
Galeria Freites, Caracas (solo)
1993
The Economist Plaza, London (solo)
1992
Gallery Universe, Tokyo (solo)
1992
Galleria Blu, Milan (solo)
1992
Galerie Marbeau, Paris (solo)
1991
Marlborough Gallery, New York (solo)
1991
The Museum of Modern Art, Toyama (solo)
1991
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield (solo)
1990
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Sofia Imber, Caracas (solo)
1989
Marlborough Fine Art, London (solo)
1989
Marlborough Gallery, New York (solo)
1988
Galeria Freites, Caracas (solo)
1988
Modern British Sculpture from the Collection, Tate Gallery, Liverpool
1987
Erika Meyerovich Gallery, San Francisco (solo)
1986
British Embassy, sponsored by Christie’s Contemporary Art (solo)
1986
Beaux Arts, Bath (solo)
1986
Galleria Blu, Milan (solo)
1985
Marlborough Gallery, New York (solo)
1985
Recalling the Fifties: British Painting and Sculpture 1950-60, Serpentine Gallery, London
1984
Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London
1984
Marlborough Fine Art, London (solo)
1983
Mercury Gallery, Edinburgh (solo)
1982
Christie’s Contemporary Art, New York (with Victor Pasmore)
1981
British Sculpture in the Twentieth Century, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
1980
Galerie Regards, Paris (solo)
1979
Keys Gallery, Londonderry (solo)
1978
Marlborough Fine Art, London (solo)
1977
A Silver Jubilee Exhibition of Contemporary British Sculpture, Battersea Park, London
1977
Carved, Modelled, Constructed: three aspects of British 20th century sculpture, Tate Gallery, London
1975
Arte Contacto Galeria de Arte, Caracas (in collaboration with Marlborough Gallery, New York) (solo)
1975
Sculpture in Holland Park, London
1974
Marlborough Fine Art, London (solo)
1974
Jiyugaoka Gallery, Tokyo (solo)
1972
Galleria Blu, Milan (solo)
1971
Galeria Wspólczesna, Warsaw (solo)
1971
IVème Exposition Internationale de Sculpture Contemporaine, Musée Rodin, Paris
1969
Galerie Withofs, Brussels (solo)
1968
Galleria Blu, Milan (solo)
1966
Marlborough New London Gallery (solo)
1966
Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
1965
British Sculpture in the Sixties, Tate Gallery, London
1965
Sculptures from Albert A. List Family Collection, New York Art Center
1964
Contemporary British Sculpture (Arts Council open-air touring exhibition)
1964
Exhibition of Venice Biennale Prizewinners since 1948, Galeria d’Arte Moderne, Venice
1963
Sculpture in the Open Air (London County Council exhibition), Battersea Park, London
1963
Galleria Blu, Milan (with Kenneth Armitage)
1962
Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura, Japan (with Kenneth Armitage)
1962
British Art Today, San Francisco Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Contemporary Arts, Santa Barbara Museum of Art
1961
2ème Exposition Internationale de Sculpture Contemporaine, Musée Rodin, Paris
1961
Peter Lanyon, William Scott, Lynn Chadwick, Merlyn Evans, VI Biennale de São Paulo, Museo de Arte Moderna (solo)
1961
Marlborough Fine Art, London (solo)
1960
Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanover (with Kenneth Armitage)
1959
John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 2, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
1958
50 Ans d’Art Moderne, Palais International des Beaux-Arts, Brussels
1958
Galerie Daniel Cordier, Paris (solo)
1957
Saidenberg Gallery, New York (solo)
1957
Contemporary Art – Acquisitions 1954-1957, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
1957
Sculpture 1850 and 1950, Holland Park, London
1956
The Seasons, Tate Gallery, London
1956
Exposition Internationale de Sculpture Contemporaine, Musée Rodin, Paris
1956
XXVIII Biennale, Venice (with Ivon Hitchens)
1955
Young British Sculptors (touring exhibition by the Arts Club of Chicago)
1955
54th London Group, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
1954
Sculpture in the Open Air, Holland Park, London
1953
The Unknown Political Prisoner (sponsored by the Institute for Contemporary Arts), Tate Gallery, London
1953
IXème Salon de Mai, Palais de New York, Paris
1953
2ème Biennale de la Sculpture, Middelheim Park, Antwerp
1952
New Aspects of British Sculpture, XXXVI Biennale, Venice
1952
Gimpel Fils, London (solo)
1951
Festival of Britain, South Bank, London
1950
Gimpel Fils, London (solo)

Public Collections

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Nelson A. Rockefeller Collection, New York
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH
Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Sofia Imber, Caracas, Venezuela
Modern Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
City Museums and Gallery, Birmingham, UK
National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, UK
City of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol, UK
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, UK
Arts Council of Great Britain, London, UK
Contemporary Art Society, London, UK
British Council, London, UK
Tate Gallery, London, UK
Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, UK
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy
National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica
Hakone Open-Air Museum, Hakone, Japan
Museo Rufino Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo Internacional, Mexico
Collection of the Principality of Monaco, Monte Carlo
Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, the Netherlands
Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo, Norway
Instituto de Artes Contemporaneas, Lima, Peru
The Berardo Collection, Lisbon, Portugal
South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Musée Rodin, Paris, France
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel
Jerusalem Foundation, Jerusalem, Israel
Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome, Italy
City of Spoleto, Italy
Galeria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Spoleto, Italy
Museo d’Arte Moderna, Venice, Italy
National Gallery, Hamilton, Bermuda
Art Gallery of Hamilton, Canada
Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Nordjyllands Kuntsmuseum, Aalborg, Denmark
Marie-Louise and Gunnar Didrichsen Art Museum, Helsinki
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Western Australian Art, Perth, Australia
Art Gallery NSW, Sydney
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels

Literature

Lynn Chadwick, in Artists of Our Time, Herbert Read, Künstler Unserer Zeit, IV, Bodensee-Verlag, Amriswil, Switzerland, 2nd edn. 1960
Lynn Chadwick, Judith Collins; Intro. by Eva Chadwick, Ruder Finn Press Inc, New York, 2006
Lynn Chadwick,Dennis Farr, Tate, London, 2004
Lynn Chadwick, Osborne Samuel, London, 2004
Chadwick, Edward Lucie- Smith, Lypiatt Studio, 1997
Lynn Chadwick, Dennis Farr, Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Kyoto & Hakone Open-Air Museum; 1991
Lynn Chadwick, Sculpture 1951-1991, Andrew Causey, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 1991
Lynn Chadwick. Sculptor. A Complete Illustrated Catalogue 1947-1988, Dennis Farr & Eva Chadwick, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1990
Lynn Chadwick: The Sculptor and His World, Nico Koster & Paul Levine, SMD Informatief Spruyyt, Van Mantgem & De Does, Leiden, 1988
Lynn Chadwick, in Art in Progress, Alan Bowness, Methuen, London, 1962
Chadwick, in Modern Sculptors, Josef Paul Hodin Zwemmer, London, 1961