Lot 341
  • 341

LYNN CHADWICK | Sitting Figures

600,000 - 800,000 USD
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  • Lynn Chadwick
  • Sitting Figures
  • Inscribed Chadwick and numbered 786 6/6
  • Bronze
  • Height of male: 71 5/8 in.; 181.9 cm
  • Height of female: 72 1/2 in.; 184.2 cm
  • Conceived in 1979-80 and cast in an edition of 6.


Acquired from the artist's studio in 1989


Recent Sculpture by Lynn Chadwick (exhibition catalogue), Marlborough Fine Art, London, 1984, illustration of another cast n.p.
The Burlington Magazine, November 1984, illustration of another cast p. XLI
Nico Koster & Paul Levine, Lynn Chadwick: The Sculptor and His World; The Artist and His Work, Leiden, 1988, illustration of another cast in color p. 106
Dennis Farr & Eva Chadwick, Lynn Chadwick Sculptor, With a Complete Illustrated Catalogue 1947-1988, Oxford, 1990, no. 786, illustration of another cast p. 302
Dennis Farr & Eva Chadwick, Lynn Chadwick Sculptor, With a Complete Illustrated Catalogue 1947-1996, Oxford, 1997, no. 786, illustration of another cast p. 326
Dennis Farr & Eva Chadwick, Lynn Chadwick Sculptor, With a Complete Illustrated Catalogue 1947-2005, Aldershot, 2006, no. 786, illustration of another cast p. 334
Dennis Farr & Eva Chadwick, Lynn Chadwick Sculptor, With a Complete Illustrated Catalogue 1947-2005, Farnham, 2014, no. 786, illustration of another cast p. 340


Please contact the Impressionist & Modern Art department directly at 212 606 7360 for a condition report prepared by Wilson Conservation LLC.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

Chadwick’s figurative sculptures of the 1970s revert to his earlier themes with a new sense of versatility and authority. As his sculptures became more anthropomorphic the artist seemed to consolidate his earlier work, “having established his formal language, as it were, he needed to refine and enrich it” (Dennis Farr, Lynn Chadwick, London, 2003, p. 76). In formal terms, the heavily draped figures of this period with their sweeping contours and delicately angled planes could not feel more different from his contorted insect figures of the 1950s or block-like shapes of the 1960s, and yet there is an impressive consistency to his work: his hallmark focus remains just as sharp on what he termed "attitude," that is the carefully calculated stances, angles and distances between his figures which he saw as essential to their character. “If you can get their physical attitudes right,” Chadwick explained, "you can spell out a message" (quoted in Michael Bird, Lynn Chadwick, Farnham, 2014, p. 147).

In Sitting Figures there is a companionable sense of paused conversation and shared attention which is characteristic of so many of his contented double-figure compositionseven his monumental pieces remain distinctively personal in this respect. Farr also notes a new tenderness in his work of this period, for example in the delicate modeling of the woman’s breasts and nipples naturalistically described, as we find in the present model. There is softness to the female forms which had previously been distinguished in his oeuvre principally by their triangular heads.

The relation between Chadwick’s male and female figures is often expressed in terms of balance: “In the mobiles you have the arm, and you balance two things on it like scales—you have a weight at one end and an object at the other end. If you have a heavy weight close to the fulcrum then you can have a light thing at the other end. So you can [similarly] balance the visual weight of two objects. And so it was interesting to balance male with female. To me, I was balancing them, I suppose, psychologically, or whatever it was” (Lynn Chadwick quoted in ibid., p. 98).

Eva Chadwick has kindly confirmed that this cast is recorded in the artist’s archives.