Marking 60 years since he became the youngest recipient of the International Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale, Blain|Southern presents a curated stand dedicated to Lynn Chadwick’s early work from the 1950’s as well exhibiting a rare monumental sculpture in Frieze Sculpture Park.
The Fifties were a defining decade for Chadwick’s career; he emerged from relative obscurity to become one of the most significant sculptors of his generation. In 1950 he held his first solo exhibition in London. Just four years later, he went on to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale where he was awarded the International Prize for Sculpture, ahead of more established names such as Alberto Giacometti. This launch onto the international stage prompted both major solo exhibitions and inclusion in Documenta II, Kassel, 1959.
Blain|Southern’s stand includes sculptures from each of these seminal exhibitions as well as other rarely seen masterpieces. Beast, 1953 is a unique work incorporating nuggets of coloured glass. It is also one of the earliest examples of the artist’s use of Stolit; an industrial compound which became an essential element of Chadwick’s practice. The monumental piece was first exhibited in 1955 at the Whitechapel Gallery, London as part of an exhibition of The London Group. It has only been shown once since. Balanced Sculpture, 1951, from the 1956 Venice Biennale, sits alongside casts of other notable works; Conjunction IV, 1958, from his first solo exhibition in Paris and Beast XVI, 1959 which was first exhibited at Documenta II. Also shown at Documenta II, a cast of one Chadwick’s very few monumental works conceived in the 1950’s, is exhibited outdoors in the Frieze Sculpture Park. Stranger III, 1959 was one of only a handful of public commissions undertaken by the artist.