Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993) is one of the most important British sculptors of the twentieth century. Working mainly in bronze, Frink is best-known for her searching depictions of the male figure. 

Frink also had a deep connection with animals, particularly horses and birds, and at times her work appears to blur the boundaries between the animal and the human.

Frink had close associations with Ireland. Her first husband Michel Jammet was from Dublin, and in the early 1960s she undertook two major sculpture commissions for Belfast: Flying Figures for the façade of the Ulster Bank in Shaftesbury Square, in 1963, and a Crucifixion for St. Bernadette’s Church, Knockbreda, in 1964.

Born in Suffolk, Frink’s early life was spent close to a military air-base. This exposed her to the injuries and wreckage of war, and had a profound effect on her later exploration of the male form. Her work, as with many artists of the post-war generation, can be considered a response to the fragmentation and brutality of the Second World War.

Throughout her career Frink used drawing as an instinctual method of exploring her ideas, and was an accomplished print-maker. In 2017, the Ulster Museum received a bequest of five sculptures and twenty-six works on paper from Elisabeth Frink’s son Lin Jammet. Altered States shows selected work from this gift with Post-war art from the Ulster Museum collection.

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