LYNN CHADWICK | Pair of Walking Figures - Jubilee 1977
- Lynn Chadwick
- Pair of Walking Figures - Jubilee 1977
- each figure inscribed Chadwick, dated 77 and numbered 769 2/6
- bronze, in two pieces
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1980
L'Œil, no. 274, Lausanne, May 1978, another cast illustrated p. 87
Nico Koster & Paul Levine, Lynn Chadwick: The Sculptor and His World / The Artist and his Work, Leiden, 1988, another cast illustrated pp. 95 & 110
Dennis Farr & Eva Chadwick, Lynn Chadwick: Sculptor. With a Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 1947-1988, Oxford, 1990, no. 769, another example illustrated p. 296 & pl. 8
Dennis Farr & Eva Chadwick, Lynn Chadwick: Sculptor. With a Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 1947-2003, London, 2006, no. 769, another example illustrated p. 327
Dennis Farr & Eva Chadwick, Lynn Chadwick: Sculptor. With a Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 1947-2003, Farnham & Burlington, 2014, no. 769, another example illustrated p. 333
Dating from 1977, the majestic Pair of Walking Figures - Jubilee represents one of Chadwick’s most impressive and dynamic sculptures. The figures exhibit a sense of eminence which the sculptor characteristically bestowed on his mature works. The present bronze is also a wonderful example of his depiction of motion. The monolithic, stately figures stride forward and Chadwick seems not only to have cast their clothing in bronze but the very air that they stir as they move by. Dennis Farr and the artist’s wife, Eva, discuss the importance of movement in his work: ‘Chadwick has always been intrigued by movement, either actual or implied, in his sculpture. From his early mobiles to his dancing Teddy Boy and Girl series of the 1950s to his cloaked walking women with windswept hair of the 1980s, he has explored figures in motion. Sometimes their cloaks and draperies flow out in the wind from behind them, or are caught by a gust and wrap themselves around the figures. This essentially lateral progression gives place to a vertical rhythm in his groups of, usually two, figures’ (D. Farr & E. Chadwick, op. cit., 2006, p. 15).
Discussing such groupings in which the artist explored spatial relationships both between individual figures, and with their environment, Paul Levine has commented: ‘he has pursued this interest in spatial relationships on radically different scales, from thumb-sized figures […] to larger-than-life images that attain the dignity and stature of public sculpture. These larger sculptures, like the Pair of Walking Figures – Jubilee 1977, have an impressive formality characterised by an almost classical understatement’ (P. Levine in N. Koster & P. Levine, op. cit., p. 95). An allusion to classicism is particularly evident in the female figure of the present work, whose pleated dress, seen frontally, is reminiscent of a classical column. In a manner also found in Henry Moore’s monumental female figures, the woman’s garment at once covers and reveals the contours of her body, a feature that may have been inspired by the Parthenon relief sculptures at the British Museum.
The present work was one of the very first in the group of bronzes titled Jubilee, a theme Chadwick would continue throughout the 1980s, producing a number of variations on the theme of a cloaked male and female figure, both as maquettes and monumental bronzes. While in some of the compositions the figures are rendered in a highly stylised, semi-abstract manner, in Pair of Walking Figures – Jubilee they retain recognisable anatomical features, although their heads are reduced to purely geometric shapes – a rectangle for the man and triangle for the woman. Two casts of Pair of Walking Figures - Jubilee are at Le Parc du Château, Saint-Priest in Rhône and Museo Ruffino Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo Internacional in Mexico City.