David Wynne (1926-2014)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
David Wynne (1926-2014)

Two Swimmers

David Wynne (1926-2014)
Two Swimmers
signed, numbered and dated 'DAVID WYNNE 1981 A/C' (on the top of the base)
bronze with a green patina
39 ¼ in. (99.6 cm.) wide
Conceived and cast in 1981 in an edition of 6, plus an artist's cast.
A gift from the artist to the present owner.
J. Stone (ed.), The Sculpture of Wynne 1974-1992, London, 1993, pp. 55, 157, as 'Two Swimmers: maquette', another cast illustrated.
Exhibition catalogue, A Celebration of Life: David Wynne, 50 Years of Sculpture, London, Mall Galleries, 1997, pp. 15-16, no. 15, another cast illustrated.
D. Elliott, Boy with a Dolphin. The Life and Work of David Wynne, London, 2010, p. 101 as 'Two Swimmers maquette', another cast illustrated.
London, Mall Galleries, A Celebration of Life: David Wynne, 50 Years of Sculpture, February - March 1997, no. 15, another cast exhibited.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
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Albany Bell
Albany Bell

Lot Essay

Figures swimming had long captivated Wynne's imagination. On the recommendation of Victor Lownes, Hugh Hefner commissioned Wynne to create a large fountain sculpture to serve as a focal point outside Playboy’s new Atlantic City club and casino complex. Wynne flew to the infamous mansion in Los Angeles to discuss the matter with Hefner, after which he decided to sculpt ‘a complicated and subtle group where the two [figures] literally balance one another’ (J. Stone (ed.), The Sculpture of Wynne 1974-1992, London, 1993, p. 56).

The present work, cast in 1981, is a maquette for the monumental full-size commission which stood at over eleven feet high. Hefner chose Playboy centerfold Victoria Cooke to model for the female figure; and Wynne chose his stepson Jonny as the model for the male figure. Wynne explained, ‘He is like a bow, her arms the string, and her body the arrow. In one sense, he is breaking himself to let her fly free…’ The remarkable composition pivots imperceptibly on the toe point of the male figure (see D. Elliott, Boy with a Dolphin: The Life and Work of David Wynne, London, 2010, pp. 101-102).

We are very grateful to Nicola Bennett for her assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.

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