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Terry Frost
Oil paint on board

42 x 77 cm
Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster University © The estate of Sir Terry Frost. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015

Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange

Terry Frost British, (1915-2003)
Yellow, 1955


Terry Frost [Centenary Exhibition]
Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange, in collaboration with Tate St. Ives and Leeds Art Gallery

On the event of his centenary, this exhibition across both our galleries, celebrates the career of leading modern British painter, Sir Terry Frost (1915–2003), bringing together paintings, collages and sculptural forms from public and private collections across the UK. Looking at Frost’s work through ideas of performance, construction and colour, the exhibition takes a fresh perspective on his practice over six decades. It spans chronologically from his arrival in St Ives in the early 1950s, to then moving to Leeds, followed by teaching in Coventry and California as well as the Universities of Newcastle and Reading and finally his return to Cornwall in the 1970s, setting up a home and studio in Newlyn till his death in 2003.

Living in St Ives during the 1950s, Frost was part of a close circle of emerging British modernists working with abstraction, including Roger Hilton, Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon and Bryan Wynter. The exhibition will highlight key paintings and collages from Terry Frost’s formative periods working in Cornwall and Yorkshire, including paintings from his breakthrough Walk Along the Quay series, begun in 1950. These tall, thin canvases are evocative of the seaside town of St Ives. In contrast are the large-scale paintings such as Blue Winter 1956 and Orange and Black, Leeds 1957, painted in response to the Yorkshire Dales, after his move to Leeds.  These works are presented at The Exchange.

After discovering acrylic paint while teaching in California in the 1960s, Frost became increasingly interested in colour as a presence or character in itself. Looped and heaped weights of colour seemingly bulge from his canvases, sometimes becoming three-dimensional in his collages or sculpture. In 1970 Frost developed a range of ‘soft sculptures’ including stacks, spirals and loops, made from painted canvas tubes filled with polystyrene balls. Suspending these arcing forms from the walls and ceiling, or bundling them together, he sought to bring out colour in all its intensity without hard structure or flat surface – as a brushstroke in space. The exhibition will feature a re-commissioned series of these little-known, strikingly contemporary three-dimensional works. These works are presented at Newlyn Art Gallery. The lower gallery will feature Green Below, one of the last works made by Frost. It will be accompanied by striking prints that Frost made with Hugh Stoneman from 1992 onwards.

The exhibition is organised by Tate St Ives in collaboration with Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange and Leeds Art Gallery

Related Links:

Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange
Tate St. Ives


The Art Fund


Excerpt from Tate Britain, London:

Terry FROST b. 1915-2003
Artist biography

Abstract painter after beginning in the Euston Road Group Realist tradition. Born 13 October 1915 at Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. Attended evening classes in art at the age of sixteen, then worked at various jobs mainly concerned with radio and electricity. Started painting while a prisoner of war in Germany 1943. Moved to St Ives 1946 and studied under Leonard Fuller then studied from 1947 at the Camberwell School of Art under Pasmore and Coldstream. Member of the Penwith Society, St Ives, 1950. First one-man exhibition in London at the Leicester Galleries 1952 and in New York at the Bertha Schaefer Gallery 1960. Taught at Bath Academy, Corsham, 1952. Gregory Fellow at Leeds University 1954–6 taught at Leeds College of Art 1956–9. Member of the London Group 1958. Lived at St Ives 1959–63, then moved to Banbury.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964


Additional Information

Terry Frost: Selected Biographies on Art in Context
Terry Frost: Related Links on Art in Context


Terry Frost, British, (1915-2003)
b. October 13, 1915, Leamington Spa, UK
d. 2003

Art in Context - Projects:
Art in Context - Art for the Day: October 13

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