LYNN CHADWICK, R.A. (1914-2003)
LYNN CHADWICK, R.A. (1914-2003)
LYNN CHADWICK, R.A. (1914-2003)
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LYNN CHADWICK, R.A. (1914-2003)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE CALIFORNIAN COLLECTION
LYNN CHADWICK, R.A. (1914-2003)

Two Reclining Figures

LYNN CHADWICK, R.A. (1914-2003)
Two Reclining Figures
signed, numbered and dated 'CHADWICK 72 642 1/4' (on the back of the male figure)
bronze with a dark grey patina
72 in. (182.9 cm.) long
Conceived and cast in 1972 by Meridian Foundry.
with Harcourts Gallery, San Francisco, where purchased by the present owner in April 1995.
Exhibition catalogue, Chadwick: Recent Sculpture, London, Marlborough Fine Art, 1974, pp. 6, 20, no. 16, another cast illustrated.
D. Farr, exhibition catalogue, Lynn Chadwick, London, Tate Britian, 2003, pp. 74-75, 124, exhibition not numbered, fig. 33, another cast illustrated.
M. Bird, Lynn Chadwick, Farnham, 2014, pp. 146-147, no. 6-17, another cast illustrated.
D. Farr and E. Chadwick, Lynn Chadwick: Sculptor, With a Complete Illustrated Catalogue 1947-2003, Farnham, 2014, p. 290, no. 642, another cast illustrated.
London, Marlborough Fine Art, Chadwick: Recent Sculpture, January 1974, no. 16, another cast exhibited.
London, Tate Britiain, Lynn Chadwick, September 2003 - March 2004, exhibition not numbered, 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. This lot has been imported from outside the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Customs Duty (as applicable) will be added to the hammer price and Import VAT at 20% will be charged on the Duty inclusive hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer''s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice. Please see Conditions of Sale. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Lot Essay

Two Reclining Figures, 1972, is one of Chadwick’s most significant and monumental works of the period. The figures are impressive in scale, life size, measuring almost two metres in length. Cast in a small edition of four, the present work is number one from the edition.

Two Reclining Figures marks a transition in Chadwick’s work, when the artist began to play increasingly with sitting and reclining forms, positioning his figures in poses of increased repose and relaxation. This change was due, in part, to Chadwick’s desire to make his sculptures more human. He now began to interpret his work increasingly in terms of human relationship, as opposed to formal balance. Michael Bird comments, ‘This piece was Chadwick’s strongest statement yet of a progressive movement in his work from humanity (the human figure) towards relationship (human figures that appear to relate not only in a formal of physical sense but on an emotional plane too). The lineaments of tender proximity, untroubled in their fusion of erotic naturalism and schematised geometries, soften the tense symmetries of Chadwick’s earlier idiom of confrontation and conjunction’ (M. Bird, Lynn Chadwick, Farnham, 2014, p. 144).

The sense of intimacy and human connection is felt strongly in Two Reclining Figures, with his figures positioned lying beside one another, resting partly on their sides. The male lies behind the female figure, his right hip and thigh lifted toward her, creating a feeling of tenderness and protection towards his partner. Physically joined at the hip, the figures present a sense of togetherness and unity. This is felt not only physically but psychologically, through the tenderness of their relaxed pose. There is an increased naturalism in Chadwick’s work of the 1970s, which can be seen in Two Reclining Figures, in the organic modelling of the female’s torso and breasts. Dennis Farr reiterates, ‘There too is a new tenderness in his work: in Two Reclining Figures a man and a woman loll contentedly side by side, as if sunbathing on the seashore or replete after a picnic on the grass. The woman’s breasts are delicately modelled, the nipples naturalistically described. The male figure is clad and chunkily modelled, his sharply angular shape contrasted with the softer contours of the woman’ (D. Farr, exhibition catalogue, op. cit., p. 77).

During this period, Chadwick’s figures become increasingly about being, rather than doing. This transposition was reflected in how he referred to his new figures, calling them ‘Presences’ as opposed to ‘Watchers’. Chadwick explained, ‘I used to call them “Watchers”, but no longer. Sometimes they are not watching anything. What they are doing is illustrating a relationship – a physical relationship – between people’ (L. Chadwick, quoted in M. Bird, op.cit., p. 147).

One of the most striking elements of Chadwick’s sculpture is his ability to imbue a human quality in his work through the subtle nuances of stance and his careful calculation of line and form, which is evident in the present work. A sense of mass, order and design is inherent in all Chadwick’s works, as is the balance between figuration and abstraction. Chadwick believed in the intuitive nature of artistic creation and strove to instil his forms with ‘attitude’ and the essence of humanity, rather than capture a naturalistic representation of the figure. He saw that the expression of this ‘essence’ was fundamental to the power and character of his work. Chadwick successfully created a unique and distinctive vernacular, which speaks of archetypal characters and timeless universal symbols, which can be seen to powerful effect in Two Reclining Figures.

By 1972 Chadwick had long gained international recognition and was widely regarded as one of the most significant sculptors of the 20th Century to emerge from Britain. In this year he held solo exhibitions in Milan, Geneva, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec. A year before Two Reclining Figures was conceived, Chadwick and his wife Eva, also established their own foundry at Lypiatt Park, Gloucestershire, which saw a period of increased financial security and creativity for the artist.

We are very grateful to Sarah Chadwick for her assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.

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