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

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'.


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

Leeds Art Gallery

The Headrow, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AA
0113 378 5350

Opening times

Monday, Closed
Tues – Sat: 10am – 5pm
Sun: 11am – 3pm

Exhibitions at Leeds Art Gallery

Back to top