Artist biography

English sculptor and printmaker. She studied at the Guildford School of Art (1946–9) and with Bernard Meadows at the Chelsea School of Art (1949–53). She was linked with the post-war school of British sculptors, including Reg Butler, Bernard Meadows and Eduardo Paolozzi, though her work is distinguished by her commitment to naturalistic forms and themes. Frink's range of subjects included men, birds, dogs, horses and religious motifs. Bird (1952; London, Tate), with its alert, menacing stance, characterizes her early work. She concentrated on bronze outdoor sculpture with a scarred surface created by repeatedly coating an armature with wet plaster; each coating is distressed and broken, eliminating detail and generalising form. In the 1960s Frink's continuing fascination with flight was evident in a series of falling figures and winged men. While living in France from 1967 to 1970, she began a series of threatening, monumental, goggled male heads. On returning to England, she focused on the male nude, barrel-chested, with mask-like features, attenuated limbs and a pitted surface, for example Running Man (1976; Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Mus. A.). Frink's sculpture, and her lithographs and etchings created as book illustrations, drew on archetypes expressing masculine strength, struggle and aggression.

Bibliography
E. Mullins: The Art of Elisabeth Frink (Park Ridge, NJ, 1973)
B. Robertson and others: Elisabeth Frink, Sculpture: Catalogue Raisonné (Salisbury, 1984)
E. Lucie-Smith: Frink: A Portrait (London, 1984)
Elisabeth Frink (exh. cat., London, RA, 1985)
Elisabeth Frink, Sculpture and Drawing, 1950–1990 (exh. cat., Washington, DC, N. Mus. Women A., 1990)

ELISABETH ROARK

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