LYNN CHADWICK (1914-2003)
LYNN CHADWICK (1914-2003)
LYNN CHADWICK (1914-2003)
LYNN CHADWICK (1914-2003)
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The Collection of Jerry Moss
LYNN CHADWICK (1914-2003)

Little Girl II

LYNN CHADWICK (1914-2003)
Little Girl II
stamped with the artist's name, monogram, number and foundry mark 'Chadwick C65 3⁄9 Morris Singer Founders Ltd' (on the reverse of the seat)
68 x 48 x 52 in. (172.7 x 121.9 x 132.1 cm.)
Conceived in 1987 and cast in 1989. This work is number three from an edition of nine.
Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg
Private collection, New England, 1999
Anon. sale; Sotheby's, New York, 8 May 2014, lot 408
Acquired at the above sale by the late owner
D. Farr and E. Chadwick, Lynn Chadwick Sculptor, with a Complete Illustrated Catalogue 1947-2003, Farnham, 2014, pp. 374-375, no. C65 (another cast illustrated).
J. Collins and D. Finn, The Collection at Lypiatt Park, Lynn Chadwick, New York, 2006, pp. 212-217 (other casts illustrated).

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Lot Essay

This uncanny figure was conceived by British sculptor Lynn Chadwick in 1987. She is at once ancient and futuristic; angular primordial shapes are forged in rough metal, a shocking vision of a robotic future excavated from deep in the earth. She is faceless and also familiar. As other contemporary sculpture artists leaned further into abstraction, Chadwick’s sculptures become more figurative, billowing bodies emerging from indistinct shapes. Little Girl II is a prime example of the mature stage of Chadwick’s evolution into figuration. Beginning in the late 1940s, the sculptor was creating metal sculptures, many of them being semi-biomorphic but nevertheless abstract. In 1973, Chadwick had begun to clothe his figures in pleated drapery, and in the present work we see the results of his stylistic development. The work comes from the impressive collection of Jerry Moss, co-founder of A&M records.

"I tend to have no cerebral approach to my work. I just do it… I am actually composing it as I do it, without having any preconception of what I’m doing to do." Lynn Chadwick

While many of his figures from this period are striding in a bracing wind, in the present work the figure is resting in indiscernible contemplation. Armless and anonymous, it is a radical take on representation, following in the footsteps of cubists such as the Spanish-born artist Pablo Picasso. In Cubism, elements of the figure are twisted, skewed, or replaced entirely by geometric elements.

Though his work has a sketch-like quality, Chadwick conceived and executed sculptures such as this without a preconceived idea or drawing. When speaking on the interpretation of the meaning of his work, he said in an interview in 1987: “I tend to have no cerebral approach to my work. I just do it… I am actually composing it as I do it, without having any preconception of what I am going to do "(L. Chadwick in M. Bird, Lynn Chadwick, London, 2014, p. 165). In his work, this philosophy manifests as figures that look startlingly lifelike and eerily obscured. Unlike many figurative sculptures which are poised in self-awareness, Chadwick’s figures are caught unaware in a moment, making the viewer a voyeur to a private scene. Still, it is easy for anyone who sees the work to see themselves in the figure, weary and contemplative.

Little Girl II captures Lynn Chadwick’s skill for depicting the human condition. His ability to reflect these complex emotions in sculpture makes him one of the most impactful sculptors of the twentieth century. He was part of the Post-War generation, a group whose work has been increasingly sought after in recent years. Even decades later, viewers still connect with his distinct manner of representing humanity.

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