Alan Wheatley Art

Dame Elisabeth Frink Artist Biography  British, 1930-1993

Dame Elisabeth Frink is widely recognised as one of the most important post-war British sculptors.

Elisabeth Frink was born in Suffolk in 1930, and she studied at both the Guilford School of Art and the Chelsea School of Art, where she won a scholarship. Her fame began in the early 1950s, at that time still a student, when she sold a sculpture to the Tate Gallery. The piece in question was entitled Bird; along with the male figure, a variety of animal subjects were to dominate her production in its entirety.

Elisabeth Frink's work is quite different from that of her contemporaries, and it is evident that she tried to avoid their influence. In 1967 she moved to France in order to "cut myself off from the British art scene". It is perhaps because of this that much of her output deals successfully with the transcendental. Some pieces explore the forces of nature upon man, others examine the power of the body itself.

In recognition of her achievements, Elisabeth Frink was awarded the C.B.E., the D.B.E. and the C.H at various stages in her career, and also several honorary Doctorates. 

Elisabeth Frink continued to work until she was overcome by cancer. Just a few days before her death in 1993 the artist watched the televised installation of her last major commission, Risen Christ, in the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool.

Public collections include:
Art Institute of Chicago, USA
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., USA
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, France
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
National Portrait Gallery, London
Royal Academy of Arts Collection, London
Tate, London

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