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Lynn Chadwick


Maquette for Teddyboy and Girl

1955
 


Lynn Chadwick, was born on November 24th, 1914, in Barnes, London. His initial desires to become a sculptor were discouraged due to the economic oppression of the 1930's which persuaded him to follow the more practical vocation of architecture. Dissatisfied with the theoretical nature of the profession he started to work as a draughtsman in London. During the Second World War he trained in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy and returned to London in 1944. In March 1946 he won a prize in a textile design competition which was judged by Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland. He was subsequently offered a contract to design for Linda Ascher which enabled him to move to Gloucestershire.

During this time he began to make his first mobiles using balsa wood and aluminium wire, and intended as decorative features for exhibition stands. His mobiles were displayed for the first time at the gallery of London art dealers Charles and Peter Gimpel in August 1949; followed by a one man show in June 1950. Although Chadwick always viewed his sculptures in architectural terms, Charles and Peter Gimpel regarded them as sculpture and thus reawakened his earlier ambitions. In a manner characteristic of British sculpture of the post-war period, Chadwick favoured the technique of construction to that of carving. His tendency to begin works from an abstract form which he then invests with an allusive vitality is the reverse of more traditional approaches.

In 1952 Chadwick won an honourable mention in the International sculpture competition, Unknown Political Prisoner, which was advised by Henry Moore and Herbert Read. Also during this year he was invited by the British Council to contribute four sculptures and four drawings to a celebrated group show of eight young British sculptors (including Kenneth Armitage, Reg Butler, Henry Moore and Edward Paolozzi) at the Venice Biennale. Four years later, at the Venice Biennale, Chadwick's international reputation was made when he was selected for the British Pavilion and awarded the Biennale Grand Prix for Sculpture. In 1958 Chadwick bought Lypiatt Park, near Stroud in Gloucestershire, England, which he restored and made his home and studio, and where he is buried following his death on 24 April 2003.

credits: Hangar Design Group