At a time when the Council had been under attack by the press for "wasting taxpayers" money on "ridiculous" modern art, the overwhelmingly positive response to the exhibition was a vindication: “Lynn 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 looks simply incompetent by the side of his work. This Biennale award marks the emergence of Lynn Chadwick as a figure of international artistic importance” (Alan Bowness, quoted in Dennis Farr, Lynn Chadwick, London, 2003, p. 44).
But to close observers of the younger generation of British sculptors to which Chadwick belonged, the surprise may not have been so universal; of the 19 sculptures he exhibited in Venice several were lent by important international public museums who had already bought his work for their permanent collections and saw him as a natural successor to his more established compatriots Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, both of whom had also achieved considerable successes in post-war Venice exhibitions.
Encounter VI was conceived in this pivotal year in Chadwick’s career and is one of ten sculptures in a series he completed between 1955 and 1959. It has been almost 30 years since a cast of this model last appeared on the open market.
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