Lynn Chadwick: The Couple is the largest exhibition of its kind to concentrate
on one of the most prevalent themes of Chadwick’s artistic career: ‘The Couple’.
Exploring the most intimate of human unions the exhibition will include works
spanning over 40 years, from seminal early pieces such as Teddy Boy and Girl
and Dancers through to his instantly recognisable seated couples of the late
80s and early 90s.
Lynn Chadwick is one of the most eminent British sculptors of the 20th century,
and an important addition to any modern art collection. Chadwick first came to
prominence in 1952 when he was included in the British Council’s New Aspects
of British Sculpture exhibition for the XXVI Venice Biennale alongside Kenneth
Armitage, Reg Butler, Henry Moore and Eduardo Paolozzi. The following
year he was one of twelve semi-finalists for the Unknown Political Prisoner
International Sculpture Competition and at the 1956 Venice Biennale
he won the International Sculpture Prize, beating Giacometti.
Pangolin London has a particularly unique relationship with Lynn Chadwick which dates
back to 1983 when owners Rungwe Kingdon and Claude Koenig were appointed his
founders and assistants. They went on to set up their own foundry, Pangolin Editions,
which is now the largest in Europe and which Pangolin London are directly affiliated to.
Pangolin London feel extremely privileged to have such direct insight into the mind of
the artist, and the intricate process of casting Lynn Chadwick’s sculptures into bronze.
Unlike Hepworth and Moore with their dedication to ‘truth to materials’, Chadwick
reversed the process and used construction. He was one of the first sculptors to explore
welding, making up linear armature or a skeleton onto which he applied a skin, building
up the surface to a solid form. What stands Chadwick’s sculpture apart from the rest
is their sculptural ‘attitude’ which he skillfully used to express a particular stance and
the relationship of one mass to another whilst also concentrating on precision of line,
crispness of texture and subtlety of colour.
Speaking of Lynn Chadwick’s couples Rungwe Kingdon notes their diversity:
‘Some are tender, even romantic, others frenetic and disjointed but they all contain
a pent-up energy. Isolated in their own space they command our attention: object
fusing with image, image redolent with association, King and Queen, Man and
Woman, lovers, dancers. The winged figures are part bird, part plane, energetic,
mechanical birdmen, half Leonardo construction and half Chadwick angel.’
This exhibition could not come at a more exciting time for Modern British Sculpture,
with a huge increase in popularity throughout the art world and a significant rise
in market performance. The Royal Academy’s forthcoming show Modern British
Sculpture (22 January – 7 April 2011) will only highlight the current climate. With
auction houses pushing sculpture as their premium lots, it is certainly a good time
to be investing in sculpture. Lynn Chadwick: The Couple will provide an exciting
opportunity to purchase an important example of his work.