Lynn Chadwick - Standing Couple (798) 1980
Lynn Chadwick - Standing Couple (798), 1980, bronze, 17 x 15.5 x 22.5 inches, edition 8 of 9
Lynn Chadwick is one of the most important and respected English sculptors that came to prominence int he post-war years. After exhibiting alongside Henry Moore, Reg Butler and other young sculptors at the pivotal New Aspects of British Sculpture exhibition in 1952, Chadwick went on to fully establish his reputation when he won the International Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1956, becoming the youngest recipient of the prize.
'Standing Couple (798)' marks a revival in Lynn Chadwick's late work of sitting or standing pairs. Often seated on a bench or facing forwards, these couples move away from the light-hearted intimacy of Chadwick's earlier work in favour of a more composed quality that conveys internal emotion through the slightest change of form. These couples evoke the intricacies of human relationships.
In this series Chadwick develops a visual code for the figure, in which the male is always shown with a square head and the female with a triangle. These works also build upon the dynamism of Chadwick's Jubilee works, made during the 1970s in honour of the Queen's Silver Jubilee. These dynamic figures drive again the force of the wind and Chadwick uses billowing material to suggest volume and movement.
Chadwick pioneered new techniques for welding and construction, pushing the boundaries of bronze as a medium. In 'Standing Couple (798)' Chadwick similarly uses taught folds of drapery to convey the curve of the breast and the movement of the fabric.
Chadwick's works are featured in major museums around the world including the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Musee Rodin, Paris; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Royal Academy of Arts, London; and many other institutions. Tate Britain debuted a major retrospective of his work in 2003, the year of his death. His works continue to sell for ever-higher prices; in 2018, Pair of Walking Figures, Jubilee 1977, sold for $3.5 million at Sotheby's.