Two lying figures on base
Bronze with black-green patina. 25 x 34.5 x 48 cm. Artist's signum, numbered, and with work number '679' and foundry mark Morris Singer, London, in upper lateral margin. Cast 3/8. - Traces of weather.
Abstracted human figures with their characteristic wedge and cuboid-shaped heads have featured in Lynn Chadwick's oeuvre since the beginning of the 1960s. After "Watchers", "Electras" and "Winged figures", sitting, lying and standing couples populated his figural cosmos in the 1970s.
These couples now have clear male and female attributes, the triangular-shaped face assigned to the female figure, the square to the male. The formal contrast between the smoothly polished, strongly geometrically abstract "faces" and the somewhat naturalistic worked bodies is striking. The body shapes are partly depicted veiled by abstracted, elaborately draped robes, partly unclothed. The couple depicted here lying atop a relief-decorated plinth are resting on their forearms and holding their heads up. Whilst the female body is unclothed, the male appears dressed in a type of waistcoat and a cape falling backwards off his shoulders.
From the beginning, Chadwick sought to combine abstract and figural elements. "However modern his techniques may be, his concern is the sculptor's traditional one of giving life and expression to a three-dimensional object.“ (Dennis Farr, in: Lynn Chadwick, New Work, exhib.cat. Marlborough Fine Art, London 1989, p.2). Despite their lifelike body language and the suggestion of a narrative element - such as the plinth in this example reminiscent of a mattress - his couples are never personalised, but have a general validity as figural signs.
private collection, North Rhine-Westphalia
Edward Lucie-Smith, Lynn Chadwick, Stroud 1997, p.101, plate 75 with colour plate (different cast)