Terry Frost


Painter, printmaker and teacher Sir Terry Frost RA (1915-2003), was a key figure in the development of British twentieth-century abstract art, renowned for his bold use of colour and shape, who worked in Newlyn, Cornwall. 


Frosts draw to painting was initially spurred by the art-related conversations he had with fellow English painter Adrian Heath, whilst detained as a prisoner of war in a Nazi camp during World War II. This experience encouraged Frost to attend the Camberwell School of Art upon his return to England in 1945, where he would go on to study under the renowned painters Victor Pasmore, Ben Nicholson and William Coldstream.


Frost was given the opportunity to attend the St Ives School of Painting, before returning to Camberwell to complete his studies. In this time and the subsequent years he exhibited with the St Ives Society of Artists, and after settling in Cornwall was elected a member of the Penwith Society and worked as an assistant to Barbara Hepworth, hence he became associated with the St Ives group. 


His teaching career led him to Bath Academy of Art, the University of Leeds, Cyprus College of Art and the University of Reading. He was awarded the John Moores Painting Prize in 1965, became a Royal Academician in 1992 and received a knighthood in 1998. A retrospective of his work was held at The Royal Academy in 2000. 


Prints were an essential element of Frost's oeuvre. He believed that painting and printmaking were inseparable and that each medium informed each other. 


The fabulous book 'A Catalogue Raisonne' by Dominic Kemp (or 'The Frost Bible' as we call it) showcases his complete lifetime catalogue of print work. Terry Frost and Hugh Stoneman enjoyed three decades of print making together, starting with the beautiful Lorca Suite in 1989 through to the vast Madron Woodcuts in 2001. 


His work has been exhibited widely on national and international levels, with exhibitions at the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg; the Royal Academy, London; Tate, St Ives and Brooklyn Museum, New York.


The artist’s works are in public and private collections including Tate, London; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY and National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh.