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It Came from the Vault: Rarely Seen Works from MAG’s Collection

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Image of Black Beast

© Estate of Lynn Chadwick

Black Beast

40 x 79 1/4 x 28 in. (101.6 x 201.3 x 71.1 cm)

Lynn Chadwick
English (London, England, 1914 - 2003, Bisley, England)

Object Type: Sculpture
Medium and Support: Bronze
Credit Line: Gift of Charles Rand Penney
Accession Number: 1980.41
Link to this object
Location: Not currently on view

The British sculptor Lynn Chadwick trained and worked as a draftsman until after World War II, when he began to experiment with openwork metal in the form of mobiles. After taking a welding course in 1950, he moved to the production of solid sculptures in bronze. His primary subject matter during this time was the human figure; he also made a number of large-scale bronze sculptures of abstract aggressive, angular creatures such as MAG’s Black Beast.

Although easily recognizable as an animal form, the roughened bronze lacks specific naturalistic features such as ears, eyes, and hooves. Chadwick focuses instead on expressing the beast’s massive, dynamic brute force through the sculpture’s surface texture and form. The areas of discoloration on Black Beast’s surface are not the original intent of the artist, but a result of the many years the sculpture stood in MAG’s old sculpture garden on the north side of the building. When conservation funds permit, the stained areas will be treated and the sculpture applied with a protective coating suitable for outdoor display.

[Label text from It Came From the Vault exhibition, 2013]

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It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue Entry for this artwork in the It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue. The exhibition ran from March 17-June 9, 2013

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