Friday, February 10, 2017

Inspirational sculpture - and some drawings

(images above from here)
This morning we drove to Hauser and Wirth, Somerset to see their exhibition  Elisabeth Frink:Transformation.  I am a great fan, and really enjoyed seeing so much work together.  As ever with Elisabeth Frink and her work, I found it inspirational.
Reviews of the exhibition can be found here, and here - image above from the latter
The Telegraph newspaper makes the point that Hauser and Wirth are raising the financial profile of Elisabeth Frink.  I'm not sure what I think about the art market, but I do appreciate the exhibitions that the machinations require.  It gives us all a chance to see such a wide range of work.  Unfortunately when a particular artist is not deemed popular it is sometimes difficult to see pieces outside public collections.
I was delighted to be able to see some of the Riache Warriors again - here are II, III, and IV which I snapped in the courtyard.  No.I belongs to the Tate.  They were inspired by the bronzes found in the Mediterranean, off the Italian commune of Riace.
(image above from here)
Frink found the faces of the bronzes to be intimidating, and we found the faces in the courtyard this morning to be uncanny and menacing.
There is an 'edge' to most of Frink's pieces, an ambiguity which I enjoy.  Are they oppressive, or are they vulnerable?  Are they oppressive because they are vulnerable?
Wondrous powerful work!


  1. I am very envious... I love her work. Quite a few works here I have not seen before - wonderful.

    1. Eirene, you will just have to plan a trip to the South West to include the Frink, and the St Ives Tate ceramics exhibition:

    2. Oh dear! There is so much to see... I did not know about the St Ives exhibition, and you're right, combining the two would be great, particularly since the last time we visited St Ives it was pouring with rain and we were unable to visit Barbara Hepworth's garden of sculptures. Both exhibitions are now in my diary - whether we make it or not, is another matter. Thanks for the information, Olga.

    3. Eirene, I always think that it is a far better problem to have too much to see, or to do, or to read than not. Despite recent events, so many of us live charmed lives!

  2. She is new to me, and her figures are indeed powerful, especially the faces. They make me think of the work of Magdalena Abakanowicz. How lucky that you get to see so much great art in the UK.

    1. It is unfortunate that good or even great artists can slip into obscurity. I'm not sure when exactly I encountered Elisabeth Frink's work, but it was sometime in the 60s I should think. I'm not sure she ever had much of a reputation outside the UK or Europe. I have been lucky enough to see several of her great works over the years - especially the horse and rider which was placed literally down the road from the London office of Oxford University Press where I was working.,_Dover_Street,_Mayfair.JPG
      Now it is outside the Caffe Nero where we have coffee before going to exhibitions at the Royal Academy; but originally that used to be the offices of Aeroflot, and that's how I remember it.
      Yes, I see the connection with Abakanowicz's pieces. I must see if she has an extensive body of prints and drawings, as Frink had.
      Yes, we are lucky to have access to so much art, even if it is increasingly difficult to drive through all the traffic to reach it, because immediately round here is an art desert. But I'm not complaining - much.