Executed in 1954, the present work is unique.
Explicit in the present work is the innovative working method employed by Chadwick that gave rise to his own personal idiom, and with which he emerged from the shadow of Henry Moore and the direct carving tradition. Chadwick turned to sculpture feeling compelled not merely to create but to construct – a residue from his training as an architect and his service in the R.A.F during the war, a background similarly shared by his contemporaries Butler, Turnbull and Clarke. Chadwick explained to James Thrall Soby in 1956, 'some of us felt after the war that we had to make something...We thought of construction, of building with our own hands'. Chadwick's response in the early 1950s was to construct works consisting of welded rods. He utilised the angular lines of the rods to create the form of the body, a process he dubbed 'drawing', and supported this structure on four thinly tapering legs. Initially, Chadwick proceeded to cover the armature with 'Stolit', an artificial stone compound which is applied like wet plaster and sets hard on drying, but he was perturbed by the lack of articulation. He therefore resolved to fill the armature while also letting the framework show, a process clearly evident in Untitled. The Stolit can be worked and moulded by the artist which, combined with the rods, creates a highly textured and, importantly for Chadwick, tangible object.
On arriving at this method of construction, there followed an unprecedented period of productivity with Chadwick exploring a series of images from animals and birds to imaginary beasts. In these works, Chadwick is occupied with abstract shapes but he is not content with pure abstraction. To these shapes Chadwick revealed that he 'can't resist adding something'. Typically, this something takes the form of legs, and it is these that animate the work and enhance the object's figurative elements.
By 1956 Chadwick had begun to have some works cast in bronze, which marked his growing concern with sculpture of a greater solidity. The composition of Untitled sits within this development, balanced between the delicate mobiles of 1950 and the large bronzes that evolved afterwards, such as The Watchers series from 1960.
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