Sir Terry Frost (1915-2003)

Sir Terry Frost RA (1915-2003) was born in Leamington Spa in the Midlands, and raised by his grandmother. After several jobs, Frost joined the Territorial Army in 1933 and was called up for service upon the declaration of war in 1939. Frost was taken prisoner of war in 1941 and began painting during his internment, sending paintings home in 1944. Whilst in captivity he met British artist and fellow prisoner Adrian Heath. Upon his return to England and on the advice of Heath, Frost moved with his wife to St Ives, and coincidentally the same road as Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. An artistic community built up, drawn by Nicholson and Hepworth, and included Peter Lanyon and Bryan Winter amongst others. In 1947, Frost returned to London until 1950 to train at Camberwell School of Art, and Frost was heavily influenced by Victor Pasmore, then a teacher at Camberwell. Frost’s family remained in Cornwall, and it was the motifs of the Cornish landscape that dominate throughout Frost’s career. Coastlines, quays, boats, sails, waves and the sun constitute the building blocks of Frost’s formal qualities in his continual negotation between abstraction and figuration, exploring aspects of balance, rhythm, relational shapes, line, colour, space and depth. During the 1950s Frost, alongside Patrick Heron, Bryan Winter and, in particular, Roger Hilton, became one of Britain’s most creative, prominent and prolific painters.

 

Frost had numerous British and international solo exhibitions in his lifetime, including at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (1969), the ICA (1971), a touring Arts Council retrospective (1976), the Mayor Gallery (1989), Tate St Ives (198), the British Council in New York (1998) and an RA retrospective in 2000. He was made an RA in 1992 and awarded a knighthood in 1998. Throughout his career, Frost was revered as a teacher, working at Leeds College of Art, Bath Academy of Art, Coventry Art College, Reading University, and the University of California. Frost was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Law by the Council for National Academic Awards in 1977, a Doctorate of Letters by the University of Exeter in 1999 and the same doctorate by the University of Warwick in 2000. Frost’s work is held in numerous private and public collections around the world including Tate, MoMA, and the National Gallery of Canada.

Collections

Tate Gallery London

British Council, London

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Nations Gallery of Scotland

National Gallery of Wales

Leeds City Council

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Walker Art Museum

and many more…

Artist Collection