© estate of Terry Frost. All rights reserved, DACS 2021. Photo credit: Pallant House Gallery, Chichester
British painter, born in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, one of the leading artists of the *St Ives School. He attended evening classes in art when he was sixteen, but then worked at various jobs, mainly concerned with electricity and radio, and did not take up painting until 1943, when he was a prisoner of war in Germany. His fellow prisoner Adrian *Heath encouraged him. After the war Frost studied at St Ives School of Art (1946) under its founder Leonard Fuller (1891–1973), then at Camberwell School of Art (1947–50) under *Coldstream and *Pasmore (whom he described as ‘my god’).
In 1951 he worked as assistant to Barbara *Hepworth. His early work was in the sober realistic tradition of the *Euston Road School, but he soon turned to abstraction. His work remained based on observations of nature, however, often the harbour at St Ives where he spent a great deal of time up until 1963. Blue Movement (1953, Vancouver Art Gallery) is an attempt to render in abstract terms the effect of the rise and fall of boats in a harbour on a twilit evening. Characteristically he used patterns of interlinked shapes—strongly outlined but avoiding geometrical regularity. Frost taught at Bath Academy of Art, 1952–4, Leeds College of Art, 1956–9, and Reading University, 1965–81. He was appointed professor at Reading in 1977 and became emeritus professor on his retirement. He was knighted in 1998. His son Anthony Frost (1951– ) is also an abstract painter of the St Ives School. Further Reading C. Stephens, Terry Frost (2000) ‘Sir Terry Frost’, obituary, The Times (3 September 2003)
Text source: A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (Oxford University Press)