Conjunction XII

1967
Bronze
102 x 203 x 60 cm

Inspired by animals and humanity, Conjunction XII is an example of how Lynn Chadwick welded iron and bronze rods into animated figures that flirt with abstraction. The skeletal lines, which compose the many figures of the Conjunction series, portray a sense of vulnerability and fear; like a distressed doe lost in the woods. Chadwick famously rejected the sculptural tradition of working with stone, preferring instead to work with iron and metal for their ability to demarcate lines in space. Conjunction XII presents the tangible and idiosyncratic making experience of a Chadwick sculpture. After composing a steel skeletal armature Chadwick would occupy these negative spaces with stolit in order to produce a solid form. His sculptures offer an insight into how the object has been constructed and are suggestive of familiar childhood craft activities such as papier-mâché. Subsequently cast in bronze, Conjunction XII is a manifestation of two or more things occurring at the same point in time or space. The metal lines are inherently structural but also work to deliver an unusual and striking aesthetic, which became part of Chadwick’s sculptural vocabulary and particular iconography of angular figures and beasts. With its turret form and spikey legs, Conjunction XII also possesses an architectural quality suggestive of pillars; formal attributes that were most likely influenced from his early career in this field.

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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 XII’ 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…