Terry Frost RA British, 1915-2003


‘‘A circle means so much to me; it’s become like a god. I can use it in any colour I want, and often I use it in black, because I think a black sun is beautiful.’’

Born in Leamington Spa in 1915, Frost started painting in 1941 as a prisoner of war in Bavaria. On his return to Britain Frost moved to St Ives in Cornwall, to be amongst the burgeoning artistic community there. His work reflects the inspiration he found in the Cornish light, glittering seas and watery reflections.


Frost worked as Barbara Hepworth’s assistant in 1951 and had his first solo exhibition at the Leicester Galleries in 1952. He was awarded the John Moore’s Prize in 1965, elected to the Royal Academy in 1992 and knighted in 1998.


Sir Terry Frost took his inspiration from nature; the sun, moon, water, boats and the female form are recurring motifs in the works here on show. Abstracted into sensuous circles and curves, dramatically coloured in blues, reds, oranges, yellows and black, Frost believed that the interplay of colour and shape could realise an event or image more successfully than imitation.


His works are held in many public and private collections worldwide, including: Tate Gallery, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; National Gallery of Canada; and National Gallery of New South Wales, Australia.

Virtual exhibition