Lynn Chadwick was born in London in 1914. He attended the Merchant Taylors’ School, Northwood and after taking his School Certificate stayed on to study drawing, watercolour and oil painting. From 1933 to 1939, Chadwick worked as an architectural draughtsman in London before volunteering for the Fleet Air Arm 1941–44. Chadwick unfortunately passed away in 2003.
After the war, Chadwick produced textile, furniture and architectural designs. His first mobile sculpture, constructed from aluminium and balsa wood was shown at a Building Trades Exhibition in 1947, his first exhibition being with Gimpel Fils, London, in 1950 and in 1953, Chadwick was one of the twelve semifinalists for the Unknown Political Prisoner International Sculpture Competition, in which he was awarded an honourable mention and prize. Chadwick won the International Prize for Sculpture at the 28th Venice Biennale in 1956 and was awarded a CBE in 1964.
Lynn Chadwick was primarily know for his works in metal, which were often inspired by the human form, animals and nature and at times veered towards abstraction. Chadwick’s sculptural approach was closer to techniques found in construction rather than modelling. Chadwick first made a linear armature or skeleton onto which he applied a skin, building up the surface to a solid form. Like many young sculptors in the 1950s, such as Anthony Caro, Lynn Chadwick departed from typical sculptural materials such as marble, wood or stone, in order to embrace industrial materials such as steel and cast iron. By the seventies, Chadwick’s style had developed a new formal, Cubist, symbolism using geometric forms as motifs for the head of a figure, with the diamond or pyramid referring to the female and the rectangular to the male. In Ace of Diamonds III, which took residence at Cass Sculpture Foundation, the pairing of both diamond and rectangle could refer to the interaction of male and female, both moving with controlled elegance and accord. His later works have a smoother, more refined surface with geometry replacing organic shapes. Chadwick created a permanent exhibition of his work at his Gloucestershire home, close to Pangolin Editions, the foundry that cast most of his work.