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Dame Elisabeth FRINK 1930 - 1993

RA, CBE, DBE

Biography

Elisabeth Frink was an English artist, predominantly a sculptor and printmaker. She studied at the Guildford School of Art (1946–9) and at the Chelsea School of Art (1949–53).

She was linked with the post-war school of British sculptors, which included Eduardo PAOLOZZI, dubbed the Geometry of Fear school.

Frink’s subject matter included men, birds, dogs, horses and religious motifs, but very seldom any female forms though her work is distinguished by her commitment to naturalistic forms and themes. 'Bird' (1952), with its alert, menacing stance, characterizes her early work. The sculpture was bought by the Tate Gallery from her first exhibition.

Some of her early bronzes borrowed from Giacometti, showing a menacing angularity. She largely concentrated on bronze outdoor sculpture with a scarred surface. This was created by repeatedly coating an armature with wet plaster, each coating is distressed and broken, and worked back into with a chisel and surform, eliminating detail and generalising form. This process contradicts the very essence of modeling form established in the modeling tradition defined by Auguste Rodin's handling of clay.

The Frink School of Figurative Sculpture opened in 1996, with an emphasis on sculptural form, attempting to give balance to the declining figurative training and increased conceptualism in sculpture schools in the UK. It ceased running full-time classes in 2005.

Frink's sculpture, and her lithographs and etchings created as book illustrations, drew on archetypes expressing masculine strength, struggle and aggression.

Frink was one of five Women of Achievement selected for a set of British stamps issued in August 1996.

Her The Times obituary noted the three essential themes in her work as the nature of Man, the "horseness"" of horses, and the divine in human form.

Related Artists:

Eduardo PAOLOZZI