Couple on Seat
Cabot Square, Canary Wharf
Lynn Chadwick (1914-2003) began his career as an architectural draughtsman but after World War II he took up sculpture. Couple on Seat* is one of his later works. He produced many pieces with figures, following in the tradition of sculptor Henry Moore.
This work is reminiscent of earlier sculptures in which he combined polished, faceted surfaces with rougher areas, supported on thin spindly legs. Chadwick created a permanent exhibition of his work at his home at Lypiatt Park in Gloucestershire. *Courtesy of the Lypiatt Studios and Pangolin Editions.
When I first came across the sculpture of Lynn Chadwick I was about seventeen and really did’nt know what to make of it. Now, twenty odd years later I find myself still in the same position. I suppose this is the nub of the work for me, that it keeps me guessing and enquiring . That it is not all over and done with in one glance. Chadwick began his career as an architectural draughtsman before moving into sculpture. You can clearly see in ‘couple on a seat’ how his work fits in perfectly to the built environment. All angles and straight lines. He pioneered a new of working, turning away from traditional modelling techniques to construct metal skeletons that he welded sheets of metal skin onto. Buildings on stilts, on legs, movable. They are the embodiment of the thousands who were displaced in the second world war. Human beings carrying their homes on their backs, moving around a hostile European landscape. These pieces became affiliated with the post war artists whose ‘ geometry of fear’ portrayed spiky, twisted human forms that reflected the anxieties and fears of this period.