Lynn Chadwick sculptor 1914 - 2003
Lynn Chadwick is one of the giants of twentieth century sculpture. His work spans fifty years and includes over a thousand pieces.
He first came to prominence when he was one of the twelve semi-finalists for the Unknown Political Prisoner International Sculpture Competition in 1953 and he went on to win the International Prize for Sculpture at the 1956 Venice Biennale. Many honours and awards followed and Chadwick’s work is a cornerstone of all major international art collections. In Autumn 2003 a retrospective exhibition of his work was held at Tate Britain, London.
An early training as an architectural draughtsman together with his practical skills in welding gave him the basis for his individual approach to sculpture. His work was constructed from welded iron rods to form an exoskeleton which delineates the planes and establishes the stance of the piece. With this unique and singular language he evolved a range of his own archetypal figures and beasts. Throughout a long and distinguished career Chadwick’s work kept a relevance and individuality.
“It seems to me that art must be the manifestation of some vital force coming from the dark, caught by the imagination and translated by the artist’s ability and skill…. whatever the final shape, the force behind it is…. indivisible.”
Lynn Russell Chadwick CBE (24 November 1914 – 25 April 2003) was an English artist and sculptor trained as an architectural draughtsman, but began producing metal mobile sculpture during the 1940s.
Chadwick was born in London and went to Merchant Taylor's School. He worked as a draughtsman for several London architect's practices until 1939 and focussed on techniques of watercolor and oil painting. Served as a Royal Navy pilot in the Fleet Air Arm (1941–4) and then worked as a freelance designer until 1952.
Chadwick was commissioned to produce 3 works for the 1951 Festival of Britain exhibition. He exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1952 with Reg Butler, Bernard Meadows and Eduardo Paolozzi and he won the International Prize for Sculpture in Venice in 1956 His work is included in most major public collections. Chadwick is featured in the 1964 documentary film "5 British Sculptors (Work and Talk)" by American filmmaker Warren Forma. Many of Chadwicks prints have been on exhibit at Tate Britain, London.
Married three times, Chadwick had four children: Simon by his first wife the Canadian poet Ann Secord whom he married in 1942, Sarah and Sophie by his second wife Frances Mary Jamieson whom he married in 1959, and Daniel by his third wife the Hungarian photographer Eva Rainer whom he married in 1965.
Chadwick was made a Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1964, and a French Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1985.
He died at Lypiatt Park, Gloucestershire on 25 April 2003
Awards and honours
1953 Honorable mention and prize , UnknownPolitical Prisoner international sculpture competition
1956 International prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale.
1964 Commander of the British Empire
1985 French Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
2001 Royal Academician, UK