Lynn Chadwick 1914 – 2003
Sitting Couple on Bench, 1990
Welded stainless steel
65 x 69 x 61 cm.
Sitting Couple on Bench is a piece that epitomises Lynn Chadwick’s work as he explored male and female figures. With triangle heads for the female and rectangular heads for male, it demonstrates the generic motifs apparent across decades of his working output. Welded stainless steel techniques create very smooth sheets and planes, angles, triangles, and different shapes which give the sculpture a pensive quality. An unsaid tension between the figures is generated through their motionless and static manifestation.
Conceived in 1990, Sitting Couple on Bench is a ground-breaking creation from Chadwick as he entered a new vein of inspiration and innovation, primarily prompted by his rediscovered use of welded steel as a medium.
Sitting Couple on Bench sculpture has a twin that was cast in bronze, but is based on this same titled welded steel originally made in 1990, just two years after Chadwick turned to this medium. With the twin, the vibrant surface of the stainless steel that had first caught Chadwick’s attention when he saw a sculpture made of that material in Miami has been replaced by a more complex, textured bronze patina. Chadwick himself recognized that bronze was basically the standard medium for metal sculptures; here, while retaining the crisp linearity that underpinned the welded steel version, he sought to explore its flexibility. In this way, Chadwick has created a sculpture that, while superficially conveying some adherence to the canon of sculpture throughout the ages, he taps into a visual vocabulary that extends back to and beyond the ancient Greeks, nevertheless introducing a searing sense of modernity.