Chadwick's monumental sculpture was included in the British pavilion of the 1952 Venice Biennale, where it joined other examples of figural forms explored through warped and twisted metal. As Herbert Read wrote in the accompanying catalogue, "These new images belong to the iconography of despair, or of defiance." Indeed, Chadwick's Inner Eye is at once solid and skeletal, with a hollow core fronted by an immense shield-like breastplate. Held by claws, a chunk of glass cullet—the rejected or waste glass material appropriate for re-melting—sits at the heart of the form. It is a translucent organ protected inside the pronged ribs: the "inner eye" within the cage.
Gallery label from Soldier, Spectre, Shaman: The Figure and the Second World War, October 24, 2015-March 20, 2016.