Elisabeth Frink

Birdman

previous next

About this artwork

This figure was inspired by photographs of Léo Valentin, a celebrated French ‘dare-devil’ known as ‘the birdman’. He attempted to fly at an air show in Liverpool in 1956, launching from a plane with wooden wings attached to his arms, but fell to his death. Tiny wings can be seen on the back of this figure. The combination of heroism and failure are recurring themes in Frink’s work. She gave the original plaster version of this sculpture to a friend in 1960 and all trace of it was lost for 50 years. This is one of four bronzes cast posthumously by the artist’s Estate. 

Published November 2021

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Tell us what you think.

Elisabeth Frink

Elisabeth Frink