Dame Elisabeth Frink R.A. (British, 1930-1993) Soldiers Head I 36.8 cm. (14 1/4 in.) high (Conceived in 1965)

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Lot 54* AR
Dame Elisabeth Frink R.A.
(British, 1930-1993)
Soldiers Head I 36.8 cm. (14 1/4 in.) high

Sold for £ 50,000 (US$ 62,349) inc. premium
Dame Elisabeth Frink R.A. (British, 1930-1993)
Soldiers Head I
signed and numbered 'Frink 1/6' (on the back of the neck)
bronze with a brown patina
36.8 cm. (14 1/4 in.) high
Conceived in 1965

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    With Waddington Galleries, Montreal, circa 1974, where acquired by the present owner
    Private Collection, Canada

    Exhibited
    London, Waddington Galleries, Elisabeth Frink, 30 November 1965 (another cast)
    London, Battersea Park, Sculpture in the Open Air: An Exhibition of Contemporary British Sculpture, 20 May-September 1966 (another cast)
    London, Waddington Galleries, Elisabeth Frink, 11 October-4 November 1972 (another cast)
    London, Beaux Arts, Frink: Sculpture, Drawings and Prints, 1998

    Literature
    Jill Wilder (ed.), Elisabeth Frink, Sculpture Catalogue Raisonné, Harpvale, Salisbury, pp.162-163, cat.no.117 (ill.b&w, another cast)
    Annette Ratuszniak (ed.), Elisabeth Frink, Catalogue Raisonné of Sculpture 1947-93, Lund Humphries, London, 2013, p.94, cat.no.FCR141 (ill.b&w, another cast)

    Frink comments; 'In the mid sixties I made a series of soldier's heads which were rather brutal. They had pigtails. I like the idea of the head being terminated in some kind of ribbon at the back. The pigtail in my sculptures was rather like a cardinal's ribbon. I was married to a man, Edward Pool, whose head was rather like this – no pigtail, but bearded, a fine head – and I incorporated his beard into the shape of a head so each sculpture, indirectly based on this man, had a rather massive jaw.' (in Jill Wilder (ed.), Elisabeth Frink Sculpture; Catalogue Raisonné, Harpvale, London, 1984, p.37). Edward (or Ted) Pool was Frink's second husband whose severe war wounds acted as a constant reminder of the violence of her times. Anti-militant, Frink engaged her sculpture to combat ideas of celebrating war and violence. The solider is not presented as a functioning military machine but a disfigured, stupefied and helpless being. Conceived in her most active year, Soldier's Head I is an early example of Frink's use of the form of the head as a 'vehicle for emotion' and would receive early praise with Edward Mullins declaring; 'These blunt representations of the hireling thug are in my view her most interesting yet' (Edward Mullins, 'Grown-Up Prodigies', The Sunday Telegraph, 5 December, 1965, p.12).

    Themes first explored in the Soldier's Head works were then developed in the equally combative and iconic Goggle Heads and then resolved in the restful Tribute Heads a decade later.
Contacts
Dame Elisabeth Frink R.A. (British, 1930-1993) Soldiers Head I 36.8 cm. (14 1/4 in.) high (Conceived in 1965)
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