Lynn Chadwick: Evolution in Sculpture at Abbot Hall and Blackwell in Cumbria

By Emily Beeson | 22 March 2013

Exhibition preview: Lynn Chadwick: Evolution in Sculpture at Abbot Hall and Blackwell, Cumbria, until June 15 2013

A photo of a beautiful brick country house surrounded by parkland in front of a lake
© Tony West
The first retrospective at a public gallery since the Tate’s show, a year after his death in 2004, this exhibition pledges a remarkable journey which spans the length of Lynn Chadwick’s career as a one of the central British sculptors of the 20th century.

Known for his primal and abstract metal constructions, Chadwick melded architectural study with improvised metalwork to create a collection of work that promoted innovative design.

More than 50 pieces attest to Chadwick’s significance as an influential artist during the post-war period. A collation of works, from early abstract mobiles to prints and photographs, are set among a diverse range of sculptures and drawings identifying the impressive variety of Chadwick’s influences and production, and demonstrating the evolution of his work.

Items rarely exhibited and sourced from private collections will make up a portion of the considerable body of work on show thanks to collaborative efforts between the Lakeland Arts Trust, Chadwick Estate and Osborne Samuel Gallery.

Ominous figures of hybrid beasts produced during the 1950s and 1960s, as well as the commanding large scale pieces created later in Chadwick’s career, take to Abbot Hall’s striking Georgian entrance hall and Blackwell, the arts and crafts house overlooking Lake Windermere.

Juxtaposed between Blackwell’s lawns and the surrounding Lake District fells, Chadwick’s larger sculptures are given a fitting sense of power and reverence, while the exhibition spaces at Abbot Hall provide a pre-eminent setting for work from Chadwick’s early and mid-career among other post-war British art.

The interiors at Blackwell also house examples of Chadwick’s domestic-scaled late-period sculpture.

  • Open 10.30am-5pm (closed Sunday). Joint exhibition ticket £12, includes free visit to Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry. Follow the Lakeland Arts Trust on Twitter @lakelandarts.

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