Sir Terry Frost RA - 1915-2003
Was a giant of British abstract Art. No living painter is more central to the St Ives aesthetic than Terry Frost, who first worked in the Cornish artists' colony more than 50 years ago. Tate St Ives's exhibition 'Painting Not Painting' shows his work in the context of a group of younger artists. By Rod Mengham.
Of all the Tate’s, St Ives is the only one with a strong local identity, predicated on a direct relationship between the works on display and the physical environment within which the gallery itself is located. This principle is reaffirmed in recent exhibition. Entitled 'Painting Not Painting', it centres on the work of Terry Frost (b 1915), surrounding a large selection of his paintings, collages and sculptures with the work of successive generations of younger artists - Richard Slee (b 1946), Julie Roberts (b 1963), Jim Lambie (b 1964) and Victoria Morton (b 1971).
Although these four have never exhibited in St Ives before, their various artistic practices reflect and develop aspects of the St Ives aesthetic epitomised by Frost: an infatuation with increasingly large, flat areas of colour taken from a strikingly limited palette of vividly contrasting primaries; a habit of allowing figurative observations of the coastal scenery of Cornwall to bleed into abstract designs, and vice versa; an enthusiasm for the constant displacement of point of view and focus. This particular painting dates back to 1999 when frost was based in Cornwall.