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 compositions—even 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).
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.