Sir Terence Ernest Manitou Frost RA (13 October 1915 – 1 September 2003) was a British abstract artist, who worked in Newlyn, Cornwall. Frost was renowned for his use of the Cornish light, colour and shape to start a new art movement in England. He became a leading exponent of abstract art and a recognised figure of the British art establishment.
Terence Ernest Manitou Frost
13 October 1915
|Died||1 September 2003 (aged 87)|
|Alma mater||Birmingham College of Art|
Camberwell School of Art
St. Ives School of Painting
|Movement||St Ives School|
Born in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, in 1915, he did not become an artist until he was in his 30s. He left school aged fourteen and went to work at Curry's cycle shop and then at Armstrong Whitworth in Coventry. During World War II, he served in France, the Middle East and Greece, before joining the commandos. Whilst serving with the commandos in Crete in June 1941 he was captured and sent to various prisoner of war camps. As a prisoner of war at Stalag 383 in Bavaria, he met Adrian Heath who encouraged him to paint. Commenting later he described these years as a 'tremendous spiritual experience, a more aware or heightened perception during starvation'.
As soon as war was over he went to Birmingham College of Art, where he met Barrie Cook. However Frost quickly assumed that the action was elsewhere. At first attended Camberwell School of Art under Leonard Fuller. The following year, 1946 he removed for a year out to St. Ives School of Painting where his first solo exhibition was held in 1947 at G.B. Downing's bookshop, before returning to London and that autumn the Camberwell School of Art under Victor Pasmore, Ben Nicholson and William Coldstream bringing him to paint his first abstract work in 1949. For three years he exhibited with the St Ives Society of Artists until in 1950 he was elected a member of the Penwith Society; he maintained a permanent connection with the Newlyn school. Already settled in the town by 1951 he 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.
His first exhibition was the Leicester Galleries in the heart of London's West End. Frost's academic career included teaching at Bath Academy of Art, the Coventry Art College and was appointed on the recommendation of Herbert Read as the Gregory Fellow on Painting (1954-1956) at the University of Leeds. There he befriended the painter Stass Paraskos, who would later invite Frost to spend time working and teaching in Cyprus at the Cyprus College of Art.
In 1958 while still living in Leeds and teaching at Leeds School of Art he joined the London Group. He moved to St Ives, and then in 1963 to Banbury, where his house at 2 Old Parr Street now sports an Oxfordshire Blue Plaque.
At the Barbara Schaeffer Society in New York, 1960 he put on his first exhibition in USA. There he met many of American abstract expressionists, including Marc Rothko who, along with his wife Mel, became great friends. The success contributed to an award of the John Moore Prize for 1965. In 1992 he was elected a Royal Academician and he was knighted in 1998. A retrospective of his work was held in 2000.
He married Kathleen Clarke in 1945. They had five sons and one daughter. His sons Adrian and Anthony also became artists while another son, Stephen, is a comedian and actor. His grandson Luke Frost is also an artist.
The following list is not comprehensive but includes paintings, screenprints, sikcreens, etchings, aquatints, woodcuts and collages.
- Movement: Green, Black and White (1951-2) Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
- Blue Moon (1952)
- Double Quay (1952)
- Boat shapes (1954)
- Khaki and Lemon (1956)
- Red and Black linear (1967-8)
- Lace I (Trial proof) (1968)
- Red and Black Solid (1968)
- Red and Black on Green (1968)
- Red and Black on Blue (1968)
- Red and Black on Purple (1969)
- Ochre, Red, Blue (1969)
- Red, Blue, Orange on Yellow (1969)
- Blues (1969)
- Orange Dusk (1970)
- Stacked on Side (1970)
- Red and Black on the Side (1970)
- Moonship (1972)
- Red, Blue, Green (1972)
- Ice Blue (1972)
- Alhambra (1972)
- Blue, Brown, Black (1981) The Country House Gallery, Burnley
- Blue, Brown, Black (1981) Ian Starr, Manchester
- Suspended Forms Red Yellow & Blue (1986)
- Variations (1989)
- The Old Lizard (1989)
- Pause of the Clock (1989)
- Colour on the Side (1989)
- Moon Rising (1989)
- The Spinster at Mass (1989)
- Tree, Tree (1989)
- Lorca Sun (1991)
- Newlyn Rhythm (1995)
- "Newlyn: House and studio former home of the late Sir Terry Frost". The West Briton. 3 June 2010. Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Dictionary of National Biography
- "Obituary: Sir Terry Frost". The Times. London. 3 September 2003.
- "Sir Terry Frost". Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Scheme. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- Paintings by or after Terry Frost, Art UK: see extended Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists biography, under "artist profile". Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- "'Moonship', Sir Terry Frost, 1972". Tate. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- "Spring Spiral - Sir Terry Frost". Original Prints. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- "Sundrops - Sir Terry Frost". Original Prints. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- "3 Stripes for Red - Sir Terry Frost". Original Prints. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- "Sun Tree - Sir Terry Frost". Original Prints. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- "Vertical Lines - Sir Terry Frost". Original Prints. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- "Two Models - Sir Terry Frost". Original Prints. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- "Lizard Black II, silk screen print by Sir Terry Frost RA". Pyramid Gallery. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- "Sun and Boats, silk screen print by Sir Terry Frost RA". Pyramid Gallery. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr & Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I
- Terry Frost: Paintings, drawings and collages, Art Council catalogue 1976-7.
- Dominic Kemp, The Prints of Sir Terry Frost RA, (Lund Humphries, 2010)
- Frances Spalding, 20th Century Painters and Sculptors Dictionary of British Art Vol.6 (Antique Collectors Club, 1990)