Tyger, Tyger: Lynn Chadwick and the Art of Now juxtaposes the work of British sculptor Lynn Chadwick (1914–2003) with drawings, paintings, sculptures, and photographs made by a select group of international contemporary artists, including Nick Cave, John Coplans, Louise Despont, Anya Kielar, J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, and Ruby Sky Stiler.
Though they are from different generations, these artists share focused thematic, stylistic, or conceptual motifs, such as an interest in mythology or ritual, the presence of hybrid-humanoid figures, and the meshing of geometric and organic forms. The exhibition borrows its title from the famous poem in William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience (1794), in which the majestic yet fearsome tiger is questioned about its origins and creator. Likewise, the works in Tyger, Tyger contain a similar vital energy.
Lynn Chadwick was part of the post-WWII generation of British sculptors known for their dramatic, welded iron works that combined often-figurative subjects with expressionistic abstraction. Chadwick’s process was akin to “drawing in space,” using iron rods to build frameworks of juxtaposed polyhedrons, and later filling them out with a mixture of iron filings and plaster that could be smoothed, scored, or left with a roughly textured finish.
The Berman Museum has the distinction of holding more works by Chadwick in its collection—over 150 sculptures, from monumental bronzes to studio maquettes—than any other institution in North America, making Tyger, Tyger a fitting tribute to the role of art in a liberal education and at Ursinus in particular.