Conjunction IX

1960
Bronze
130 x 233 x 81 cm

Conjunction IX by eminent post-war sculptor Lynn Chadwick marks a key departure from the abstracted mobile constructions of earlier years into a more evident figurative style. Conjunction IX, supported by spinal legs with an insectile head and purporting an ominous cape, still manages to retain indication of the artists earlier research into space and volume. Conjunction IX successfully conjoins those spaces into a manifestation of uniform material form. When Chadwick began to cast his sculptures in bronze from the early 1950s, it permitted an expansion from unique sculptures into editions. The surfaces of the casts were then manipulated in order to achieve a subtlety of colour. Chadwick’s unique construction method of exposing the armature and welding multiple rods together was not, however, lost in the reproduction of bronze. Chadwick’s idiosyncratic process is still perceptible through the incredibly detailed cast, which reveals a skin like veil caressing the welded rods. Although Chadwick notoriously reputed the scholarly analysis of his work, preferring rather to discuss the formal and practical components of the sculpture, there is an unavoidable trace of the trauma and violence of war to much of the artists work. Although monumental in scale Chadwick’s exposed armature renders the work vulnerable, like a configuration of blood platelets amassing around a raw wound or an emaciated, figure defenseless and despondent against attack.

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About The Artist

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.

‘Conjunction IX’ is currently on display

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Visiting Information

Lynn Chadwick

Born: 1914

Other Artworks by Lynn Chadwick at CASS

2004

Ace of Diamonds III

The dynamic standing mobile Ace of Diamonds III was one of the last pieces made by Chadwick before his death. Comprised …

2004

Ace of Diamonds V

Ace of Diamonds V is the smaller accompanying version to Chadwick's Ace of Diamonds III. These works were some of the la…