Pangolin London presents the works of Lynn Chadwick and Geoffrey Clarke, two of the greatest modern British sculptors of the 20th Century, together in their exhibition, Conjunction. The exhibition is the first show to focus exclusively on the prolific careers of these two British sculptural powerhouses.
Lynn Chadwick (1914-2003) hardly needs an introduction. He is the pre-eminent sculptor of his generation present in every major collection of Post War art. His contemporary Geoffrey Clarke (1924-2014) was a pioneer in casting aluminium and his fearless experimentation saw him create works that epitomise the vibrancy of the post-war British art scene. Conjunction will provide a rare opportunity to experience a vast selection of works, spanning across a five-decade time period, allowing visitors to experience the intertwining similarities, and differences of their visual language.
Both hailing from architectural backgrounds, Clarke the son of an architect, and Chadwick initially training as an architectural draughtsman before the war, completed the same welding course at the British Oxygen Company in Cricklewood in the summer of 1950. The ability to weld, a technique not yet taught at art school brought exciting new ground to a generation of sculptors that were reacting against the traditionalist ‘truth to materials‘ of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.
This was illustrated in the groundbreaking ‘New Aspects of British Sculpture’ exhibition at the British Pavilion at the 1952 Venice Biennale. Launching both Chadwick and Clarke on to an international stage; their spiky, angular abstractions of human and animal forms captured the mood of the post-war angst; leading themselves and the six fellow sculptors exhibiting to be labelled the “geometry of fear” sculptors.
Although initially sharing a similar visual language, Clarke and Chadwick’s styles diverged as their careers progressed. Clarke enjoyed many public and ecclesiastical commissions, which stemmed from his work in Coventry Cathedral under Sir Basil Spence. In contrast Chadwick seldom accepted public commissions, and one of the highlights of the exhibition are the maquettes for two of Chadwick’s rare commissions Maquette for R34 1957 and Manchester Sun 1963.
Further highlights include both Clarke and Chadwick’s entries to The Unknown Political Prisoner, a worldwide sculpture competition organised by the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Although the competition was won by Reg Butler, both artist’s entries have not been exhibited together since 1953. The exhibition also includes the candlesticks commissioned from Clarke for Coventry Cathedral and a monumental Chadwick will be installed by the canalside at Kings Place. Developing their reputation for museum-quality exhibitions of Modern British Sculpture Pangolin London will also display numerous works from private collections which have not been previously shown in public.
Conjunction: Lynn Chadwick & Geoffrey Clarke – until 28 November 2015