friday art blog: Terry Frost

Black and Red on Blue
(Screenprint, A/P, 1968)

Born in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, in 1915, Terry Frost KBE RA did not become an artist until he was in his 30s. During World War II, he served in France, the Middle East and Greece, before joining the commandos. While in Crete in June 1941 he was captured and sent to various prisoner of war camps. As a prisoner at Stalag 383 in Bavaria, he met Adrian Heath who encouraged him to paint.

After the war he attended Camberwell School of Art and the St. Ives School of Art and painted his first abstract work in 1949. In 1951 he moved to Newlyn and worked as an assistant to the sculptor Barbara Hepworth. He was joined there by Roger Hilton, where they began a collaboration in collage and construction techniques. In 1960 he put on his first exhibition in the USA, in New York, and there he met many of the American abstract expressionists, including Marc Rothko who became a great friend.

Terry Frost’s career included teaching at the Bath Academy of Art, serving as Gregory Fellow at the University of Leeds, and also teaching at the Cyprus College of Art. He later became the artist in residence and Professor of Painting at the Department of Fine Art of the University of Reading.

Orange Dusk
(Lithograph, 2/75, 1970)

Frost was renowned for his use of the Cornish light, colour and shape. He became a leading exponent of abstract art and a recognised figure of the British art establishment. These two prints were purchased in the early days of the Art Collection at the beginning of the 1970s.

Terry Frost married Kathleen Clarke in 1945 and they had six children, two of whom became artists, (and another, Stephen Frost, a comedian). His grandson Luke Frost, also an artist, is shown here, speaking about his grandfather.

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