Dame Elisabeth Frink R.A. (British, 1930-1993) Horseman 83 cm. (32 5/8 in.) high (Conceived in 1984)

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Lot 51AR
Dame Elisabeth Frink R.A.
(British, 1930-1993)
Horseman 83 cm. (32 5/8 in.) high

Sold for £ 137,750 (US$ 193,365) inc. premium
Dame Elisabeth Frink R.A. (British, 1930-1993)
Horseman
signed and numbered 'Frink 5/6' (on the rear left hoof)
bronze with a light green patina
83 cm. (32 5/8 in.) high
Conceived in 1984

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    With Beaux Arts, London, circa 1984, where purchased by the present owner
    Private Collection, U.K.

    Exhibited
    London, Royal Academy, Elisabeth Frink: Sculpture and Drawings 1952-1984, 8 February-24 March 1985 (another cast)
    Wiltshire, Salisbury Cathedral and Close, Salisbury Library and Galleries, Elisabeth Frink: A Certain Unexpectedness, 10 May-7 June 1997 (another cast)

    Literature
    Edward Lucie-Smith, Elisabeth Frink; Sculpture Since 1984 and Drawings, Art Books International, London, 1994, p.182, cat.no.SC2 (ill.b&w, another cast)
    Annette Ratuszniak, Elisabeth Frink; Catalogue Raisonné of Sculpture 1947-93, Lund Humphries, Farnham, 2013, p.166, cat.no.334 (ill.b&w, another cast)

    As Edward Lucie-Smith observed in 1994, 'one of Frink's best-known images is Horse and Rider (1974), commissioned by Trafalgar House and situated on the corner of Piccadilly and Dover Street in central London. Thousands of Londoners pass it every day, and it is one of the very few contemporary public sculptures in London that seems to be liked and appreciated by the public". (Elisabeth Frink; Sculpture Since 1984 and Drawings, Art Books International, London, 1994, p.50).

    Whilst Frink's varied and extensive output has since been the subject of at least seven major museum exhibitions, many more gallery shows and several publications including a complete catalogue raisonné, it remains the case that in the public's mind the motif of horse and rider is still synonymous with Frink. Considering that she sculpted many more horses without riders, it is testament to the power of such an emotionally accessible motif that such works are so indelibly etched on our perception of her sculpture. This has only been further reinforced by the relocation of the above mentioned commission to the more prominent location of number 1 New Bond Street.

    The present variation of the horse and rider is described by Lucie-Smith as 'The most striking treatment of this motif from her last decade... intense and deeply felt." (ibid). He elaborates that "unlike nearly all her previous riders, this one is clothed. He wears bulky garments, and his head is enveloped in a hood. His features are much more individualized than is the case with Frink's nude horsemen: the spectator feels that he or she is in the presence of a real person. This impression is reinforced by the way in which the posture as well as the features are scrutinized. The rider sits on his horse very easily and confidently. His shoulders are slightly slumped but the impression he makes is one of great alertness. Face and posture alike make it probable that the sculpture was inspired by her third husband, Alex Csáky. Csáky came from an aristocratic Hungarian family; the history of Hungary was, so to speak, in his blood. Horseman could be read as a representation of a nomadic Magyar rider, roaming the Hungarian plains, only half-civilized, always on the lookout for conquest." (ibid.)
Contacts
Dame Elisabeth Frink R.A. (British, 1930-1993) Horseman 83 cm. (32 5/8 in.) high (Conceived in 1984)
Dame Elisabeth Frink R.A. (British, 1930-1993) Horseman 83 cm. (32 5/8 in.) high (Conceived in 1984)
Dame Elisabeth Frink R.A. (British, 1930-1993) Horseman 83 cm. (32 5/8 in.) high (Conceived in 1984)
Dame Elisabeth Frink R.A. (British, 1930-1993) Horseman 83 cm. (32 5/8 in.) high (Conceived in 1984)
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