Oscar V

by Lynn Chadwick


MEDIUM: Bronze
DIMENSIONS: 22.5  inches (57.1 cm)


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    This piece encapsulates Chadwick’s early angular style. A sharp composition building with geometric shapes fused together into one entity. This would become a recurring theme Chadwick explored throughout his career.

    Sold: Sotheby’s New York 17 March 2022, Lot 00344;

    Knoedler & CO., New York, Acquired from the above in 1969;

    Private collection USA;

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    Lynn Russell Chadwick was born in London in 1914. He attended Merchant Taylor’s School. After finishing his education he worked as an architectural draftsman from 1933 to 1939. Soon after, in 1941 to 1944 he served in the Fleet Air Arm as a pilot.

    Chadwick’s career timeline was very extensive. Through his artistic journey, Chadwick was able to hit incredible milestones. Following the success of his first solo show at Gimpel Fils Gallery in London during 1949, there was a notable increase in demand for his work. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Chadwick’s reputation as a sculptor grew exponentially. The artist was commissioned to create a large hanging mobile and a large sculpture to be put on display during the 1951 Festival of Britain in two restaurants. In addition he created a monumental sculpture, The Fisheater, which was commissioned by the Arts Council of Britain. Both of these sculptures were fundamental works and opportunities in his journey. These commissions helped him cement his reputation as a sculptor.

    In 1952 he was selected by the British Council as one of the eight young British sculptors to be shown at the Venice Biennale, with other young artists such as Paolozzi, Turnbull and Armitage. In the following year, this lead to invitations to show at the Middleheim Sculpture Park, near Antwerp, the Salon de Mai, in Paris and in 1955, to participate in the Museum of Modern Art’s New Decade exhibition, in New York.  It was four years later in 1956 that Chadwick achieved the great honour of receiving the international prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale. His success produced financial rewards and through this, in 1958 the sculptor was able to purchase Lypiatt Park, a Gothic house situated outside Stroud in Gloucestershire.  It is here that he would live for the rest of his life.

    In the course of the 1960s’ Chadwick’s work took on a further development. He began welding and engineering pieces found in scrapyards. By the end of the decade he began work on his complex figure groups, involving up to seven pieces, known as the ‘Watcher’ and ‘Elekttra’ series.  Within the next decade, in the time of the 1970s Chadwick started a casting studio at Lypiatt Park. Further down the line Chadwick had pasted this on to Rungwe Kingdon. Lynn Chadwick died in 2003, his remarkable sculptures establishing him as one of the best-known sculptors of the post war era.

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