a catalogue raisonné

Sir Terry Frost RA (1915-2003)





Terry Frost in front of Orchard Tambourines A (cat. 198) 1999

Terence Ernest Manitou Frost, painter, printmaker and teacher. Born 13th October 1915 in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, son of a cobbler. After leaving school at 14 he made his way in a series of jobs: working in a cycle shop and an aircraft factory. He was called up at the outbreak of the Second World War and joined the Commandos, becoming a corporal in 1941. He was captured in Crete the same year and spent the rest of the war as a POW in Bavaria. Here he began painting in earnest, meeting and sharing his experiences with the artist Adrian Heath (1920-1992), who became a lifelong friend. On Heath's advice, returning to England, he received an ex-serviceman's grant to attend Camberwell School of Art, London, 1947-50. In He married Kathleen in 1945 and named their first son, Adrian, after Heath, in 1950. He commuted up and down from Cornwall to London, finally settling in St Ives in 1948. He  rented the studio next to Ben Nicholson and took a job as assistant to Barbara Hepworth, 1950-52.

He taught at Bath Academy of Art at Corsham Court from 1952, and was the Gregory Fellow at Leeds University, 1954-56, teaching at Leeds School of Art from 1956-57. He was made Artist in Residence at the Fine Art Department of Newcastle University in 1964; became a full time lecturer at the Department of Fine Art, Reading University 1965, rising to become Professor of Painting there 1977-81. He moved to Newlyn in 1978.

His first one-man show was held at the Leicester Galleries in 1952. Further solo exhibitions include the ICA, London (1971) and the Serpentine Gallery, London (1976) organised by the Arts Council and South West Arts, touring to Newcastle, Bristol, Leeds, Chester, Birmingham and Plymouth. He continued to exhibit regularly in London, Cornwall and all over the country, notably at Redfern Gallery, New Art Centre, Belgrave Gallery, Beaux Arts and Flowers Gallery. His first international one-man show was held in 1961 at the Bertha Schaeffer Gallery, New York.

A retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Mayor Gallery, London in 1990. And in 2000 a major retrospective, Terry Frost: Six Decades, was held at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. He also participated in many group shows since 1953, notably St Ives 1939-64 at the Tate in 1985, and his work is held in many public, corporate and private collections throughout the world.

Terry Frost was elected Royal Academician 1992 and received a knighthood in 1998. He died on 1st September 2003, Helston, and is survived by five sons and one daughter.