Lynn Chadwick is one of a group of British sculptors who rose to fame as part of Herbert Read’s post-war British Geometry of Fear Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1952. Born in Barnes, West London, Chadwick formally trained as an architect before gaining work as a trade designer. It was at this point in 1947 that he began to explore the possibilities of sculpture through the creation of ‘mobile’ constructions made of wire, balsa wood, and cut copper.
Whilst Chadwick rose to fame in 1952 for his raw, welded constructions that captured the prevailing post-war mood, he is perhaps best-known for his figurative sculptures cast in bronze. Incorporating triangular forms, Chadwick depicts figures stood, seated, or walking, individually or in groups, all characterised by their geometric forms and distinctive heads: the males are oblong, the females triangular.
In 1956, Chadwick was chosen to be one of the lead sculptors to represent Britain at the XXVIII Venice Biennale, where he was awarded the International Sculpture Prize ahead of the favourite, Alberto Giacometti. More recently, Chadwick’s achievements were recognised when he was admitted into the Royal Academy in 2001. Today, Chadwick’s work can be seen in leading international collections as well as closer to home, charmingly, in the form of two seated figures upon the entrance to Fortnum & Mason, London.