Elisabeth Frink: Standing Man

Elisabeth Frink was part of a generation of artists who drew upon their experiences during the Second World War. Throughout her career she made sculpture based on animal and human forms, and sometimes combining them to create hybrids. She made many sculptures of male figures which often embodied a conflict between strength and vulnerability.

Fragility can be seen in their textured surfaces, evoking exposed flesh, as with Standing Man. Frink was more concerned with representing mankind than with portraits of individuals. Standing Man is a quiet observer, watching over the world, which is in contrast to Running Man, from another series of works, who is a fugitive, attempting to escape.

The majority of Frink’s works were made using plaster to build the form over a metal wire armature, which were then cast in bronze. Working with plaster allows the marks of the artist’s hands to be transferred into bronze, maintaining the connection to the making process.