Birdman by Dame Elisabeth Frink

Leeds has a strong sculpture collection and this work is the first by Frink to enter the collection.

Details

Medium:
Plaster Dimensions: height: 190cm
Acquired in:
2010
Presented by:
Beaux Arts and The Frink Estate through The Art Fund

The gallery has been looking for a Frink from the late 1950s and 1960s as the artist was searching for a new style during this period and combining the figurative and animal forms in innovative ways. Frink may have been inspired to create this half-man, half-bird figure after reading in Paris Match about a real-life birdman, Léo Valentin, who tried to fly, Icarus-like, with wings. Another influence was her memory of an air force boyfriend who was badly injured when his parachute failed to inflate. The artist's son pointed out that the sculpture, with its embryonic wings, is 'the epitome of the way she saw man, as capable of great heroism – like her soldier father whom she worshipped – but also hugely vulnerable'.

Provenance

Peter Newington, 1960; by descent; Lyon & Turnbull, 2009; Beaux Arts and The Frink Estate.

Venue details

Leeds Art Gallery The Headrow, Leeds West Yorkshire LS1 3AA 0113 247 8256 www.leeds.gov.uk/artgallery

Entry details

Free entry to all
Free exhibitions to all

Mon & Tue, 10am – 5pm
Wed, 12 – 5pm
Thu – Sat, 10am – 5pm
Sun, 1 – 5pm
Closed Bank Holidays

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