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From Nero to Bond Street: new home for famous Horse and Rider sculpture

29 June, 2018 — By Tom Foot

The restored Horse and Rider sculpture

A RENOWNED sculpture that stood for years in a coffee shop seating area has become a “new landmark for Bond Street”.

Dame Elisabeth Frink’s Horse and Rider was originally commissioned by Trafalgar House in 1974 for its site in Dover Street, Mayfair.

Caffé Nero took over the build- ing and seating was set down around the famous bronze.

It has been restored and moved to New Bond Street as part of the £10million public works regeneration of the street and Burlington Gardens. The works include a new entrance to the Royal Academy of Arts.

RA president Christopher Le Brun said: “Dame Elisabeth Frink RA was one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Elected as a Royal Academician in 1977, her prestige was such that she was considered an ideal candidate to become the first female president of the Royal Academy. We are delighted that Horse and Rider has been given to Westminster and will be displayed in pride of place in the New Bond Street Town Square, enabling this masterpiece to be enjoyed and admired by the local community as well as all the new visitors to the area.”

In her lifetime Frink was a woman renowned for her courage, integrity and style and she was a truly popular sculptor whose work is admired internationally. Animal figures, particularly horses, domi- nated her work and Horse and Rid- er was recast for another location in Winchester in 1983 due to its fame.

The bronze, which used to be in Dover Street, was created as “an ageless symbol of man and horse”. It has been donated by the Crosstree Real Estate Partners to Westminster Council.

The statue’s previous location. Photo: Google

With funding from the Mayor’s Office and the New West End Company, the council has created a new town square between New Bond Street and Burlington Gardens. It is part of a major project ahead of the expected additional 60 million visits to the area when the Elizabeth line Bond Street station opens at the end of the year.

Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of the New West End Company, said: “The Horse and Rider sculpture forms an important part of this development, becoming a new artistic land- mark for the district.”

The RA is marking its 250th anniversary this year.

Frink will be the focus of two solo exhibitions later this year: Humans and Other Animals, at the Sainsbury Centre from October, and at Beaux Arts, also in October.


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