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Larger than life sculpture by Dame Elizabeth Frink joins gallery's collection
Dame Elizabeth Frink (British, 1930 - 1993), Riace IV, 1989. Bronze. Gift of an anonymous donor.

FREDERICTON, NB.- The Beaverbrook Art Gallery has just installed a new sculpture in its TD Sculpture Garden.

The artwork, Riace IV, is a seven foot tall bronze figure created in 1989 by celebrated British artist Dame Elisabeth Frink. It is one of only a small handful of sculpted works by the artist held in Canadian public collections, and is a significant work by the artist.

The sculpture will remain on display in the TD Sculpture Garden, becoming part of a growing collection of works freely open to visitors at all times, year-round.

Frink’s Riace series was inspired by a discovery of fifth-century Greek sculptures found in the sea of the Italian coast in the 1970s. The nudes build on the figures of the classical Greek warriors and evoke an aggressive presence. Another figure in this series, Riace I, is in the Tate collection in the UK.

Frink, who died in 1993, was a major artist in the British post-war movement labeled by Sir Herbert Read as The Geometry of Fear, along with contemporaries including Lynn Chadwick, Eduardo Paolozzi, and Reginald Butler. Beaverbrook Art Gallery’s Chief Curator Jeffrey Spalding explains the conflicted sentiment of this movement:

“These artists longed to create works in harmony with centuries-long admiration of the magnificence of the human race, personified by the exaltation of the form of the human body. Nevertheless, they were troubled. They were all too aware that human civilization was policed by warriors. Is our Riace warrior an agent for public good or malevolent harm? Is he a protector, avenger or aggressor? This is what makes art captivating; the sculpture does not definitively resolve the question of are we good or evil. Each day we need to confront the issue raised by this engaging, provocative and powerful work. It is certainly one of the most significant post WWII sculptures to join a Canadian public collection.”

The TD Sculpture Garden extends the Gallery’s exhibition space outdoors in a park-like setting, enhancing public access to art within Fredericton’s natural beauty and vibrant core. Since its inception, it has been further developed thanks to a number of gifts of works of art.

Interim Director/CEO Bernard Riordon says: “We are grateful to TD for their support of this sculpture garden. As result of their leadership and financial contribution, we have been fortunate to attract a number of donors from across the country who have made gifts of phenomenal sculptures. It is a great pleasure for us to see visitors sitting in our splendid riverside location at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery to enjoy these inspiring works of art.”

The growth of the TD Sculpture Garden is part of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery’s ongoing expansion and revitalization efforts. It is also part of its ongoing commitment to bringing important and engaging works of world renowned art into the collection and share them with New Brunswick’s residents and visitors. A cornerstone of these recent efforts, the Gallery’s new pavilion expansion, will open to the public on October 15, 2017.

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