Lot 3
  • 3

Lynn Chadwick CBE, RA

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  • Lynn Chadwick CBE, RA
  • Dancing Figures (Two Dancing Figures)
  • stamped © L Chadwick, numbered 175 EA I and stamped with the Pangolin Editions foundry stamp 
  • bronze
  • 169 by 80 by 48cm.
  • 66 1/2 by 31 by 19in.


Pangolin Editions, Stroud
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2000


Sir Herbert Read, Lynn Chadwick - Artists of Our Time, Switzerland, 1958, illustration of another edition cast pl. 14 (titled Two Dancing Figures II)
Josef Paul Hodin, Chadwick, London, 1961, illustration of another edition cast pl. 7 (titled Two Dancing Figures II)
Nico Kostner & Paul Levine, Lynn Chadwick: The Sculptor And His World, Leiden, 1988, illustration of another edition cast p. 75
Dennis Farr, Lynn Chadwick , 2003, illustration in colour of another edition cast pl. 4
Dennis Farr & Eva Chadwick, Lynn Chadwick Sculptor 1947-1988, Farnham, 2014, no. 175, illustration of another edition cast p. 125

Catalogue Note

Dancing Figures (Two Dancing Figures) was initially conceived during the same year in which Chadwick won the grand prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale, an achievement which granted him international prominence as he joined previous winners such as Henry Moore, Marino Marini and Hans Arp. As the critic and art historian Sir Alan Bowness wrote at the time, 'Chadwick has been one of the revelations of the Biennale. Quite apart from the distinguished and highly original quality of his imagination, it is the beauty and sensitivity of execution that impresses. He may make use of the "creative accident" but the very sureness of his control makes most modern sculpture look simply incompetent by the side of his work. This Biennale award marks the emergence of Lynn Chadwick as a figure of international artistic importance' (A. Bowness, 'The Venice Biennale,' Observer, 24th June 1956, quoted in Dennis Farr, Lynn Chadwick, Tate, London, 2003, p. 44).

In the 1950s Chadwick began to incorporate some of the so-called ‘Teddy Boy’ sub-culture into his art. This youth movement was seen as rebellious and contrary to many of the traditional values held by older generations, and marked a significant change in post-war British society. Characterised by their unconventional clothing and rock-and-roll music, the ‘Teds’ were perceived as dangerous and disrespectful, but their youthful exuberance struck a chord with Chadwick who wanted to create sculpture that possessed some of their swagger, menace and modernity. Chadwick continued to return to this subject many times over the following years, sometimes explicitly naming them Teddy-Boys and Girls, and others simply as dancing figures. The angular forms and jagged postures of the figures were as much inspired by the way the Teds danced to the music of Bill Haley and Elvis Presley as the threatening postures of the hot-headed young men who squared up to each other in the streets after their raucous concerts. As Michael Bird writes, ‘Teddy Boys gained a reputation as dangerous outlaw-dandies, who didn’t take much provocation to flourish flick-knives and knuckledusters concealed in their tailored pockets’ (M. Bird, Lynn Chadwick, Farnham, 2014, p.78).