ONLINE & AT THE FRINK STUDIO

 

Twentieth Century and Modern Sculpture

 

26 November – 15 January 2023
by appointment only

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In 2019, the working world of Elisabeth Frink arrived at Messums Wiltshire with the reconstruction of her Woolland studio in our historic tithe barn. The studio was rescued from collapse and revived as an exhibition space displaying works from Frink’s studio and elements of her working practice and environment. As well as providing insight into her creative process, it formed a backdrop to a programme of events exploring creative environments. Now the studio has once again taken on a new life and, sited at a location nearby, will provide the venue for a series of in-focus exhibitions to be showcased online or by special appointment in person.

The first exhibition will present sculpture in context and celebrates the work of a number of twentieth century and contemporary artists including Thiébaut Chagué, Frank Dobson, Laurence Edwards, Elisabeth Frink, Sir Terry Frost, Bridget McCrum, Henry Moore, Albert Paley, Ti Parks and Brian Taylor. Sculptural practice involves a range of different artforms as part of its process and the space itself is just the starting point. The work on show encompasses draughtmanship, maths, measurement, modelling and metals. Viewed together in the context of each other enables a greater understanding of process and the individual works of art. While the selected pieces stand on their own merit, collectively they highlight the use of the figure as archetype for emotional content and suggest the power the figure manifests within the psychological narrative of art. Akin to the building they inhabit, they are both muse and totem.

A significant group of approximately 30 works by the artist Brian Taylor (1935-2013) will be on show in the exhibition including many bronze sculptures which have rarely been on public display since the early 1960s. Taylor studied at the Slade School of Art in the mid-1950s and his early prowess as a sculptor of the human figure resulted in him gaining a coveted three-year scholarship to Rome. The artworks Taylor encountered there stimulated him enormously, ranging from classical sculpture through to early twentieth-century modernism, and pervaded the work which followed.

The works on display in this exhibition span the artist’s career and demonstrates his fascination with the study of both human and animal forms, the essence of which illustrates his accuracy of describing movement and his unparalleled observation of animated volume. In 1998 Taylor was elected a member of the Society of Portrait Sculptors and the Royal Society of British Sculptors. The following year a retrospective exhibition, Sculpting from Life was held in Cork Street, London. Despite the artist’s remarkable output, his work remains best known to a select circle of friends, patrons and enthusiasts. We are delighted to be showing this significant collection of Taylor’s work within the context of this exhibition celebrating figurative sculpture.

 


Brian Taylor

 

Brian Taylor was born in 1935, the oldest of three children, to a poor, working-class family. Perpetually drawing, even whilst avidly reading his library books, he was encouraged by his school art teacher and a career in the arts seemed likely, if not inevitable. After time spent at Epsom and Ewell School of Art and Crafts, Taylor was persuaded to apply to the Slade School of Arts in London. READ MORE


Henry Moore

 

Henry Spencer Moore OM CH FBA (30 July 1898 – 31 August 1986) is best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art. As well as sculpture, Moore produced many drawings, including a series depicting Londoners sheltering from the Blitz during the Second World War, along with other graphic works on paper.

His forms are usually abstractions of the human figure, typically depicting mother-and-child or reclining figures.


Thiébaut Chagué

 

Thiébaut began his career in 1976, training in France, Belgium and in England under Michael Cardew and Richard Batterham. Returning to France in 1981 he set up his first workshop in the Loire Valley and in 1984 built a new studio in the Vosges with a wood-fired kiln. READ MORE


Dame Elisabeth Frink

 

Born in Thurlow, Suffolk, Dame Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993) trained at Guildford School of Art (1947-49), and at Chelsea School of Art (1949-1952) under Bernard Meadows and Willi Soukop. These studies, combined with visits to Paris that acquainted her with Giacometti and the works of Rodin, culminated in Frink’s first major exhibition at the Beaux Art Gallery in 1952 (from which the Tate Gallery purchased her work Bird), the same year in which she exhibited with the London Group.  READ MORE


Laurence Edwards

 

Laurence Edwards’ practice has long been preoccupied by the entwining of man, nature and time. One of the few sculptors who casts his own work, he is fascinated by human anatomy and the metamorphosis of form and matter that governs the lost-wax process. The driving force behind his work is bronze, an alloy that physically and metaphorically illustrates entropy, the natural tendency of any system in time to tend towards disorder and chaos. READ MORE


Bridget McCrum

 

McCrum’s work is a potent fusion of the ancient with the modern. She works primarily in stone, from which some pieces are also cast in bronze. Initially influenced by archaeological finds and by the work of Brancusi, Hepworth and Moore, her sculpture also contains oblique references to the landscape and fauna around her homes in Devon and Gozo. The basis of her work is a lyrical abstraction of living forms, a process after which only the primary elements of her animals and birds remain identifiable.  READ MORE


Ti Parks

 

Ti Parks graduated from the Slade School in 1962. He moved to Australia in 1964 and became an important influence in the contemporary art world there. He was the Australian representative at the Paris Biennale (1973), the Sydney Biennale (1976) and as an invited performance artist at the Venice Biennale (2007).  READ MORE


Albert Paley

 

Albert Paley trained at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia in the early 1960s. He initially established a profile on the American scene through his jewellery, though from the start his work was always sculptural. Moving out of precious materials and stones into a wider range of forged metalwork, he made the forge his principal vehicle of expression, with a major breakthrough coming in 1974 when he won a commission to create the Portal Gates for the Renwick Gallery (part of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington). READ MORE


Sir Terry Frost RA

 

Sir Terry Frost (1915 – 2003) was a British abstract artist working in Newlyn, Cornwall. Frost was renowned for his use of the Cornish light, colour and shape to start a new art movement in England. He became a leading exponent of abstract art and a recognised figure of the British art establishment.

The Elisabeth Frink Studio

 

The Elisabeth Frink studio was rescued from collapse by Messums in 2019 from Frink’s Woolland home. Frink lived and worked at Woolland, Dorset from 1977 up until her death aged 63 in 1993, and her studio there bore witness to over a decade of prolific drawing and sculpting.

Exhibited at the Messums Wiltshire gallery in 2020, the studio has now been reconstructed at the Black Barn, Sutton Mandeville as an exciting new exhibition space dedicated to the presentation of twentieth century sculpture.

 

Further reading