Lynn Chadwick was born in London and trained as an architect. Following war service as a pilot with the Fleet Air Arm he began experimenting with sculpture in 1945 and held his first solo exhibition at Gimpel Fils, London in 1950. His work was shown at the 1952 and 1956 Venice Biennales and at the 1957 and 1962 São Paulo Bienals. In 1953 he was one of 12 semi-finalists for the Unknown Prisoner Competition, organised by the Institute of Contemporary Arts and shown at the Tate Gallery in London; he was awarded an honourable mention. He undertook many public commissions and in 1988 was invited by the Director of the XLIII Venice Biennale to contribute a bronze, Back to Venice to the International Sculpture Survey.
Lynn Chadwick made his first experiments in sculpture after serving as a pilot, and appropriately his earliest works were suspended constructions. These were followed by what the artist called ‘balanced sculptures’. The works were bow-legged ponderous structures, grouped by Herbert Read with works by Robert Adams, Kenneth Armitage and other sculptors shown at the 1952 Venice Biennale, under the title ‘Geometry of Fear’, and which won Chadwick the International Sculpture Prize. His work fell into three main archetypes: the tensed animal, the stranger flexed for flight and the watcher portrayed in a pictorial way on a non-monumental human scale, and asserted urgent emotional realities rather than an archetypal abstraction.