Lynn Chadwick


Lynn Chadwick Biography

1914 - 2003


Lynn Chadwick was born in London in 1914; growing up, he attended Merchant Taylor's School, where he first expressed interest in the arts. His art teacher suggested he take a more realistic route through architecture and he entered an architect's office working for multiple architects including Rodney Thomas, whose own design interests later influenced Chadwick’s work. He worked as a draftsman for them until World War II, when he volunteered for the Fleet Air Arm, Royal Navy.

In 1944 Chadwick returned to the architect's office of Rodney Thomas and, influenced by his employer, began working on mobile structures. This led to his first solo show at Gimpel Fils, London, in 1951. Chadwick then developed his ideas from mobile structures to more figurative works. Although his sculptures were abstract in form, Chadwick drew his inspiration from the human form as well as the natural world. Even though Chadwick came back to sculpture later in his life, his work was soon recognized and some of his earliest pieces were included in the Venice Biennale in 1952. Four years later Chadwick beat Alberto Giacometti to win the International Sculpture Prize at the 1956 Venice Biennale.

Chadwick was appointed Comander, Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1964 in the New Year Honours List. His first retrospective was held at Yorkshire Sculpture Park from 1991-92. He was elected a French Officer de l’Ordre des Arts ed des letters in 1985 as well as a Senior Royal Academician in the UK in 2001. His work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally and is held in major museums across the world including the MoMA in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

Chadwick died in his home in 2003, at the age of 88.