Lynn Russell Chadwick (1914-2003) was an English sculptor and artist who was well known for his semi-abstract sculpture in bronze or steel. After attending Merchant Taylors’ School he became a trainee draughtsman working in architects offices, which was the only formal training as an artist he ever received. He was particularly inspired by Rodney Thomas whose interest in contemporary European architecture and design led to being influential to Chadwick’s compositions. Chadwick served as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm escorting Atlantic convoys during the World War II and afterwards returned to Rodney Thomas and began designing trade-fair stands. During this time he won his first prize in a textile design competition which led to a contract to produce more designs for Zika and Lisa Ascher. His design work became highly appreciated in the post-war years and this lead to many high profile commissions.
In around 1947 Chadwick made his first mobile of which very few have survived but demonstrate a juxtapositioning of wire, balsa, cut copper and brass shapes, often fish-like and sometimes coloured. In 1948 he bought Lypiatt Park, a dilapidated historic Manor House near Cheltenham and moved there with his family.
International success came from the moment Chadwick represented Britain at the XXVI Venice Biennale in 1952 alongside seven other artists including Robert Adams, Kenneth Armitage, Reg Butler, Geoffrey Clarke, Bernard Meadows, Eduardo Paolozzi and William Turnbull. The critic Herbert Read coined the phrase geometry of fear when describing this group of post-war artists who had lived through the worst of humanity and were now making works that were both despairing and defiant.
In 1956, Chadwick was chosen by the British Council as one of the lead sculptors to represent Britain at the XXVIII Venice Biennale. He was awarded the International Sculpture Prize and was talked of as the natural successor to Henry Moore as Britain’s leading sculptor and artistic ambassador.
Significantly Chadwick was given his first British retrospective of his work at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 1992 and was appointed a Senior Royal Academician in 2001. In 2003, the year he died, he was given a major retrospective of his work at the Tate and he is buried at his beloved Lypiatt Park amongst the pine trees where he would sit and think overlooking Toadsmoor Valley.