Dame Elisabeth Frink R.A. (1930-1993) Goggled Head II (teeth) 63.5 cm. (25 in.) high
Lot 128
Dame Elisabeth Frink R.A. (1930-1993) Goggled Head II (teeth) 63.5 cm. (25 in.) high
Sold for £54,000 (US$ 92,398) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Dame Elisabeth Frink R.A. (1930-1993)
Goggled Head II (teeth)
with Morris Singer Foundry mark (on back of neck)
bronze with brown patina and polished goggles, from an edition of 6
63.5 cm. (25 in.) high

Footnotes

  • Literature:
    E.Mullins (intro.), The Art of Elisabeth Frink, London, 1972, cat.no.110
    B.Robertson, Elisabeth Frink Sculpture, Salisbury, 1984, p.175, cat.no.181
    Jill Willder (Ed.), Elisabeth Frink Sculpture, Catalogue Raisonne, London, 1984, p.175, cat.no.181 (ill.b&w.p.175)
    S.Kent, Elisabeth Frink Sculpture and Drawings, Royal Academy, 1985, pp.41 and 52, cat.no.59
    E.Lucie-Smith and E.Frink, Frink, A Portrait, London, 1994, p.61

    Conceived in 1969.

    This sculpture will be sold with a round wooden plinth measuring 120 cm. (47 1/4 in.) high.


    The inspiration for Frink’s Goggle Heads stemmed from her feelings towards the Algerian War of Independence. During 1967-1973 Frink was living in France and had become acquainted with the Pied Noirs (French descendents expatriated from Algeria to France after the declaration of Algerian Independence in 1962). She had taken particular notice of General Oufkir, who had been responsible for the death of a freedom fighter, Ben Barka, during the war. As a member of Amnesty International, Frink strongly identified with human rights issues. Having seen images of Oufkir she felt compelled to use his features in her work. ‘Oufkir had an extraoridinarily sinister face: always in dark glasses. These goggle heads became for me a symbol of evil and destruction in North Africa and, in the end, everywhere else’ (see Jill Willder (Ed.)Op.Cit. p.38).

    When researching his play, ‘Article 5’, Brian Phelan was given access to Amnesty International documents. The title of the play comes from Article 5 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the play deals with torture and those who carry it out. In the Afterword of Willder’s catalogue raisonnée on the artist, Phelan remarks on the Goggle Head series:

    ‘When I studied the goggle men I realised they were a three-dimensional expression of the kind of practitioner I was studying in the files at Amnesty International. To torture, the practitioner must reduce the victim to the status of an animal while protecting his sense of humanity. The goggle men protect themselves in the most basic way: when you look at them you can only see yourself in their reflecting glasses. You cannot possibly guess what effect your pain is having on them. You cannot appeal to them for mercy.’ (Op. Cit., p.204)

    Prior to 1969, Frink’s interest in heads had taken material form through a series of soldier’s heads, loosely based on her husband of the time, Edward Pool. The imposing, lantern jaws, which are such a prominent feature of the goggle heads, stems from these sculptures of her husband, whose beard seems to provide the underlying inspiration for the extended shape of the chin. For Frink the head was ‘a conduit for emotions of all kinds.’ (Op. Cit., p.38)

    ‘Heads have always been very important to me as vehicles for sculpture. A head is infinitely variable. It’s complicated and it’s extremely emotional. Everyone’s emotions are in their faces. It’s not surprising that there are sculptures of massive heads going way back, or that lots of other artists besides myself have found the subject fascinating’ (see Elisabeth Frink and Edward Lucie-Smith, Frink: A Portrait, Bloomsbury, London, 1994)
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