LYNN CHADWICK (1914-2003)
LYNN CHADWICK (1914-2003)
LYNN CHADWICK (1914-2003)
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LYNN CHADWICK (1914-2003)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more THE EYE OF A SCULPTOR: WORKS FROM THE DAVID & LAURA FINN COLLECTION
LYNN CHADWICK (1914-2003)

Moon of Alabama

LYNN CHADWICK (1914-2003)
Moon of Alabama
signed, numbered and stamped with the foundry mark 'Chadwick 246 2 / 6 P.E.' (on the underside)
bronze with brown and green patina
Height: 60 in. (152.4 cm.)
Conceived in 1957; cast by Pangolin Editions, Stroud, in 2004 in an edition of six
Lypiatt Studio, Stroud.
Acquired from the above in November 2004 by the late owners, and thence by descent.
N. Koster & P. Levine, Lynn Chadwick, Leiden, 1988, p. 71 (another cast illustrated p. 81).
D. Farr, Lynn Chadwick, exh. cat., Tate Britain, London, 2003, p. 52 (another cast illustrated pp. 50-51 & n.p.; another cast illustrated again p. 53).
D. Farr & E. Chadwick, Lynn Chadwick: Sculptor, With a Complete Illustrated Catalogue 1947-2003, Farnham, 2014, no. 246, p. 157 (another cast illustrated).
Exh. cat., Lynn Chadwick: Retrospectives, Blain Southern, London, 2014, no. 27, pp. 20 & 114 (another cast illustrated p. 27; another cast illustrated again on the frontispiece).
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. Please note that at our discretion some lots may be moved immediately after the sale to our storage facility at Momart Logistics Warehouse: Units 9-12, E10 Enterprise Park, Argall Way, Leyton, London E10 7DQ. At King Street lots are available for collection on any weekday, 9.00 am to 4.30 pm. Collection from Momart is strictly by appointment only. We advise that you inform the sale administrator at least 48 hours in advance of collection so that they can arrange with Momart. However, if you need to contact Momart directly: Tel: +44 (0)20 7426 3000 email: 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. Christie’s has a direct financial interest in this lot. Christie’s has guaranteed to the seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee.
Further details
We are very grateful to Sarah Chadwick for her assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.

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Lot Essay

In Moon of Alabama, Lynn Chadwick pushes his art to new levels of abstraction, creating a multifaceted, polyhedron shape that exhibits an intriguing, contrasting sense of solidity and fragility. Discussing the sculpture and its associated maquettes, Chadwick explained the motivation that lay behind the development of this motif: ‘Here I was trying to get away from rectangles or pyramids or that sort of shape and I was trying to do something in the round but literally in the round, sort of round shapes composed in this case of triangles… it was an exercise in trying to be more three-dimensional, spherical’ (quoted in P. Levine, Chadwick The Artist and His Work, Leiden, 1988, p. 71). Perched on three pointed legs, the main body of the sculpture is a complex network of faceted, geometric planes, delineated by sharp angles and lines that suggest the complex armature that lies beneath the surface. The ends of the rods that form this substructure jut out in a multitude of directions, pushing against the thin skin from the inside out, generating a compelling internal tension.

While Chadwick believed in an art driven by intuition and feeling, in which each form was achieved through a process of trial and error, he also felt his sculpture displayed a clear continuous creative evolution over time, with one idea bleeding into and informing the next. ‘If I look back on my work over a period of years, I can see a development from mobiles and constructions, on to beaten shapes with limbs and connections, to the solid forms on which I’m now working,’ he explained. ‘It seems there has been a deliberate continuity, as if the mobiles had been a research into space and volume (separate parts free in space), and the constructions had been a way of joining the parts together, fixing them in space to make forms, and that these constructions have become armatures for the solid shapes – the iron frames of the construction still delineate the mass and act as lines of tension’ (quoted in D. Farr, Lynn Chadwick, London, 2003, p. 8).

Though Chadwick later drew a specific line between Moon of Alabama and his Beasts sculptures, detecting in their forms a similar play of mass and space, there is a mysterious, otherworldly quality to the present work that defies easy definition. While parallels have been drawn to the semi-spherical, spiked forms of naval mines, perhaps a more pertinent contemporary reference is the antennae-legged form of the Soviet satellite, Sputnik, which was launched into space in October 1957, just two months before Chadwick completed the full-size version of Moon of Alabama. The enigmatic title is a reference to Bertolt Brecht’s introspective ‘Alabama Song’ or ‘Moon of Alabama’, a poem that was loosely translated to English in the 1920s, and later set to music by Kurt Weill. A centrepiece of Weill and Brecht’s opera The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, the song was later covered by both The Doors and David Bowie. For Chadwick, such titles were not intended to reveal a particular narrative thread or thought that lay behind a work, but rather were something responsive, bestowed upon a sculpture only after its completion.

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