Horse and Rider

1969
Bronze
x 230 x cm
Edition of 3

Horse and Rider (1969) was the first of Elisabeth Frink's sculptures on this theme. She began to explore the subject in France in 1969 where her husband owned a vineyard. The work reflects the sense of well being that she experienced when in the country and in particular when she was with horses. Horse and Rider provided Frink with the possibility of combining the most desirable of masculine qualities with those of the most beautiful of man's fellow creatures; free sensuality, intelligence, loyalty, affection, speed, resilience, beauty and courage. The empathy between man and beast also seems to be underlined in their shared and complementary qualities. The horse and the male figure recurred in Frink's work throughout her working life. Frink's affection for horses stemmed from her country childhood in Suffolk. Her father was a brilliant horseman, a good polo player and an amateur jockey, which may well have added to an enthusiasm which continued throughout her life.

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About The Artist

Dame Elisabeth Frink was an English sculptor and printmaker. She was linked with the post-war school of British sculptors, including Reg Butler, Bernard Meadows and Eduardo Paolozzi, though her work is differentiated by her devotion to themes associated with nature. Working mainly with bronze to make outdoor sculpture with a characteristic scarred surface Frink often depicted the male form, birds, dogs and horses. This surface was achieved by repeatedly coating an armature with wet plaster and distressing each coating in order to eliminate detail. In the 1960's Frink continued her obsession with flight 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. Frink's sculpture, and her lithographs and etchings created as book illustrations, drew on archetypes expressing masculine strength, struggle and aggression. Her figurative sculptures possess dignity, mystery and a simplicity of form and a nonchalant, dislocated focus, whilst her animal depictions illustrate a deep sympathy for their existence, for she encapsulates their innate and individual characteristics. Frink's drawing and graphic works followed the same themes, being executed with the economy of means and feeling for surface texture that is to be found in her three-dimensional work.

Elisabeth Frink

Born: 1930