Terry Frost

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Terry Frost: Biography

1915 Born 13 October, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

1930 After attending local schools, begins work, first in a cycle shop, then at a radio factory, bakery, aircraft factory and electrical component wholesaler in Birmingham

1939-41 Called up as a member of the Army Reserve and serves in Palestine and France

1941-45 Transfers to the Commandos, serves in the Middle East and is taken prisoner in Crete. POW until April 1945, during which time he meets Adrian Heath who gives him drawing lessons and encourages him to paint. His first solo exhibition is held in his home town, but in his absence

1945 After his release, marries Kathleen Clarke in August and returns to wholesaling work in Birmingham, while attending art classes in the evening

1946 Following an illness, resigns his job and moves to Cornwall at Heath’s suggestion, to study at Leonard Fuller’s St Ives School of Painting. Becomes friends with Peter Lanyon, Sven Berlin and also Leonard Richmond, who teaches him to paint landscapes in oil ‘that might sell’

1947 Meets Ben Nicholson, with whom he corresponds. In the autumn starts his studies at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, taught by Coldstream, Pasmore and Kenneth Martin, inter alios.

1948 Introduces Pasmore to Ben Nicholson. Returns each summer to St Ives to work at the Sunset Bar, and to paint and exhibit with the St Ives Society of Artists. Begins to experiment with abstraction

1949 Awarded NDD and continues to study pottery and lithography unofficially at Camberwell

1950 Returns to live in St Ives, taking a studio next to Ben Nicholson and working part-time for, and occasionally exhibiting with, Lanyon at Robin Nances’s, the furniture-maker

1951 Starts to work as an assistant to Barbara Hepworth (together with John Wells and Denis Mitchell) while studying for his ‘Intermediate’ at Penzance School of Art. Meets Roger Hilton. Elected a member of the Penwith Society. E.C. (Peter) Gregory buys his important oil painting ‘Walk along the quay’ (now Coll. Adrian Heath, on loan to Sheffield City Art Galleries). Meets Sam Francis for the first time, then exhibits at the ICA in London

1952 Begins to teach life drawing at Bath Academy of Art at Corsham, while also teaching anatomy and still-life drawing part-time at Willesden School of Art, London. Stays with Adrian Heath in London during term-time

1953 E.C. Gregory purchases the artist’s ‘Blue movement’ (1952) for the CAS (illustrated in its Annual Report for 1952-53), and the British Council makes its first purchase (a watercolour) from the artist

1954 E.C. Gregory offers Frost the two-year Fellowship in Painting which he was funding at Leeds University. Returns to St Ives for the summers while at Leeds

1955 Teaches part-time on Harry Thubron’s Basic Design Course at Leeds School of Art. First visit to Paris, accompanied by Roger Hilton, who also takes him to visit Sam Francis and Soulages in their studios, and to Noguchi’s sculpture garden for UNESCO

1956 Returns to live and paint full-time in St Ives. Shortly thereafter becomes acquainted with the American critic Clement Greenberg, and later with the dealer Martha Jackson and with Mark Rothko, who all visit St Ives towards the end of the decade

1959 The Tate Gallery purchases its first painting by the artist, from E.C. Gregory’s collection. (It has since purchased more paintings, notably in the 1970s)

1960 First visit to the USA including three weeks in New York and visits several artists’ studios

1963 Moves to Banbury and begins part-time teaching at Coventry School of Art

1964 Visiting Lecturer in Fine Art at Reading University. Summer teaching at San José,California, in the autumn takes up a Fellowship in Painting at Newcastle University

1965 Appointed Lecturer in Fine Art at Reading University. Awarded a Non-purchase Prize at the 5th John Moores Exhibition, Liverpool

1967 Teaches at Voss Summer School, Norway

1969 Awarded a Prize at the Arts Council of NI Open Painting exhibition, Belfast

1970 Promoted to Reader in Fine Art at Reading University

1973 Member of the Selection Jury for the First British International Drawing Biennale, organised by Teesside BC at Middleborough

1974 Moves to live and work in Newlyn, Cornwall

1975 Summer teaching at Banff, Canada

1976 Summer teaching at the University of Western Ontario, Canada

1977 Appointed Professor of Painting at Reading University. Teaches at the Summer School, Nicosia, Cyprus

1980 Teaches at the Summer Academy, Umea, Sweden

1981 Retires from Reading University, and made Professor Emeritus. Visits Russia for the first time to see the early work of Kandinsky and Matisse

1992 Elected a Royal Academician

1998 Knighted

2003 Dies September 1


Selected Solo Exhibitions

1944 Leamington Spa Library

1952 Leicester Galleries (also 1956, 1958)

1960 Bertha Schaeffer Gallery, New York

1961 Waddington Galleries (also 1963, 1966, 1969, 1971, 1974, 1978)

1964 Galerie Charles Lienhard, Zurich
Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne

1969 Museum of Modern Art, Oxford

1970 Plymouth City Art Gallery (also 1986)

1971 Institute of Contemporary Arts

1976 Arts Council and South West Arts Retrospective Tour
Serpentine Gallery

1980 New Art Centre

1982 Gloria Gallery, Nicosia

1986 University of Reading and Newlyn Art Gallery, and tour to Plymouth.

1989 Mayor Gallery
Belgrave Gallery

1993 Austin Desmond Fine Art
Tate Gallery St Ives

1994 Adelson Gallery New York

1995 McGeary Gallery, Brussels
Newlyn Art Gallery

1997 Belgrave Gallery, St Ives

1998 British Council, New York

1999 Arts Council Spotlight, touring exhibition

2000 Terry Frost: Six Decades, Royal Academy
Beaux Arts, London

2001 Mead Gallery, Warwick University
Galleria Multigraphic, Venice
Maison des Arts, Colle sur Loup, France

2002 Belgrave Gallery, London
Strand Gallery, Aldeburgh
Badcocks Gallery, Newlyn
Russell Cotes Museum, Bournemouth

2003 Beaux Arts, London

2003 Painting not Painting, Tate St Ives

2007 Beaux Arts, London

2008 The Paintings of Sir Terry Frost, Reading Museum

2008 Crossing Over, Beaux Arts, Bath

2009 Five Decades of Terry Frost (Prints), Stoneman Graphics Gallery, Penzance

2009 Works on Paper from the Artist’s Studio, Belgrave Gallery, St Ives

2010 Terry Frost: A Lover of Life, Beaux Arts, London

2012 Between Sun and Moon, forward by Mel Gooding, Beaux Arts, London

2015 Terry Frost: Leeds City Art Gallery, organised by the Tate St Ives
Sir Terry Frost R.A. A Leamington Lad, Leamington Art Gallery and Museum
Frost Family and Friends, Banbury Museum
Terry Frost: ‘A Radiant Moment’ A Centenary Exhibition, Beaux Arts, London
Terry Frost: Centenary Exhibition, Belgrave Gallery, St Ives

2015 – 16 Terry Frost: Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange Gallery, Penzance, organised by the Tate St Ives

Selected Group Exhibitions

1951 Danish, British and American Abstract Art, Riverside Museum, New York
Abstract Art, Gimpel Fils

1952 CAS Exhibition, The Tate Gallery
British Abstract Art, Galerie de France, Paris

1953 Space in Colour, Hanover Gallery

1954 Abstract, Cubist, Formalist, Surrealist, Redfern Gallery

1955 50 Years of British Art, British Council Tour

1956 Recent Abstract Painting, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
Critics’ Choice (Herbert Read), Arthur Tooth & Sons

1957 Statements, ICA
British Art, Galerie Creuze, Paris
Lissone International Painting Prize
Tokyo International
New Trends in British Art, Rome, New York
John Moores Liverpool 1, Walker Art Gallery

1958 Pittsburgh Bicentennial, Carnegie Institute (also 1959, 1961)
Guggenheim International, New York (also 1959)
Gregory Fellowship Exhibition, Bradford City Art Gallery

1959 Recent paintings by 7 British Artists, British Council tour to Australia
John Moores Liverpool 2, Walker Art Gallery
The Developing Process, ICA

1960 British Painting 1720-1960, British Council tour to Russia

1961 The 21st International Watercolour Exhibition, Brooklyn Museum, New York
John Moores Liverpool 3, Walker Art Gallery

1962 Kompass II,Stedelijk van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven
British Art of the 20th Century, Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon and tour
British Art Today, San Francisco Museum of Art and tour

1963 British Painting in the Sixties, CAS, Tate and Whitechapel Galleries
John Moores Liverpool 4, Walker Art Gallery

1964 Contemporary British Painting and Sculpture, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
1954-1964: Painting and Sculpture of a Decade, Gulbenkian Foundation Collection,Tate Gallery
New Painting, 1961-64, Arts Council Tour

1965 John Moores Liverpool 5, Walker Art Gallery
Frost, Heron, Hilton, Wynter, Waddington Galleries
Peter Stuyvesant Foundation collection purchases, Whitechapel Gallery

1966 Blow, Frink and Frost, Prestons Art Gallery, Bolton
3rd Open Painting Exhibition, Ulster Museum, Belfast

1967 Recent British Painting, Stuyvesant Collection exhibition, Tate Gallery

1968 British Art Today, Hamburg Kunstverein

1969 John Moores Liverpool 7, Walker Art Gallery

1970 British Painting, 1960-1970, National Gallery of Art, Washington

1974 British Painting 1974, Arts Council, Hayward Gallery

1977 British Painting 1952-1977, Royal Academy of Art
Pier Art Gallery exhibition, Tate Gallery
Cyprus Summer School staff exhibition, Gallery Zygos, Nicosia

1980 Hayward Annual, Arts Council, Hayward Gallery
Pictures for an Exhibition, Whitechapel Gallery

1984 Landscape in Britain, Arts Council, Hayward Gallery
English Contrasts, Art Curial, Paris
Frost, Paraskos, Charalambides, Gloria Gallery, Nicosia

1985 St Ives 1939-1964, Tate Gallery

1986 Looking West, Newlyn Art Gallery and the Royal College of Art

1989 The Presence of Painting, South Bank Centre

1993 RA Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Art, London

1994 Here and Now, Serpentine Gallery

1995 British Abstract Painting, Flowers East
McGreary Gallery, Brussels
Newlyn Art Gallery

2000 Summer 2000, Beaux Arts, London

2002 Square Root, Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, London
In Print, Contemporary British Art from the Paragon Press, touring worldwide
Summer 2002, Beaux Arts, London

2003 Painting Not Painting, Tate St Ives

2004 RA Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Art, London

2006 Irving, Hoyland, Frost, Château de Sours, France

2007 Spotlight on St Ives, touring Denbigh, Lancaster, Cheltenham, Newcastle and Scarborough

2009 A Select Exhibition from the Arts Council Collection, York Art Gallery, then touring

2011 Summer Exhibition, Beaux Arts, London

Public Collections

Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums
Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal
Arts Council Great Britain, London
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Auckland Art Gallery
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery
British Council, London
British Museum, London
Bolton Museum and Art Gallery
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, London
Cheltenham Art Gallery
City Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol
Contemporary Art Society, London
Cornwall County Council Education Committee, Truro
Canterbury Museum, Christchurch, New Zealand
Exeter University
Falmouth Art Gallery
Ferens Art Gallery, Hull
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Glasgow University
Government Art Collection, London
Huddersfield Art Gallery
Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum
Leeds City Art Gallery
Leicestershire County Council and Education Committee
Manchester City Education Department
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
National Museum of Wales, Cardiff
National Portrait Gallery, London
Northampton Museum and Art Gallery
Oldham Art Gallery, Greater Manchester
Peter Scott Gallery Trust Collection, Lancaster
Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery
Reading University
Rutherston Collection, Manchester City Art Gallery
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
Southampton City Art Gallery
Southwark Council Art Collection, London
Sunderland Museum and Art Gallery
Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
Tate, London and St Ives
Tel Aviv Museum
The European Commission Conference Centre, Brussels
The Hepworth Wakefeild
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Ulster Museum, Belfast
University of Exeter
University of Warwick
Vancouver Art Gallery
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Warwick Art Gallery and Museum, Royal Leamington Spa
Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven


Selected Bibliography

British Painting and Sculpture 1960-1970. Exhibition Catalogue, Tate Gallery London and National Gallery Washington, 1970
Lawrence Alloway, Nine Abstract Artists, Tiranti, London, 1954
D. Brown, Terry Frost Paintings, Drawings and Collages 1976-1977, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1977
Francis Cary and Anthony Griffiths, Avant-garde British Printmaking 1914-1960, British Museum Publications, London, 1990
Martin Clark, Arwen Fitch and Sarah Hughes, Hugh Stoneman: Master Printer, exh. cat., Tate Publishing
Tim Craven, Boom Boom Cluster: The David and Liza Brown Bequest, Southampton Art Gallery, Southampton
Mel Gooding, Terry Frost: Act & Image. Works on Paper through Six Decades, Belgrave Gallery, London
Dominique Kemp, Terry Frost Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné, Lund Humphries, London, 2010
David Lewis, Introduction to Catalogue of St. Ives 1939-1964, Tate Gallery, London, 1985
David Lewis and Elisabeth Knowels (ed), Terry Frost, Lund Humphries, London, 1994
J. Norrie, Terry Frost, Andreas Charalambides, Arts Review, September 1983
C. McGregan, “Rufford Craft Centre Exhibition”, Arts Review, March 1982
Chris Stephens, Terry Frost: St Ives Artists, Tate Publishing, London, 2000
The Tate Gallery Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-1984, with a Forward by Alan Bowness, Tate Gallery Publications, London, 1986
Terry Frost: The Art of Collage, exh. cat., Belgrave Gallery, London and St Ives 2002
Terry Frost: Works on Paper 1947-1982, exh. cat., Austin/Desmond Gallery, St Ives, 2004
Terry Frost: Six Decades, exh. cat., with and Introduction by Mel Gooding, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2000
Tamsyn Woollcombe, National Life Story Collection: Artist’s Lives, Terry Frost, interview 19