In 1956, Terry Frost was away from the Cornish landscape with which he and his work is so closely associated, living in Yorkshire as the first ever Gregory Fellow in painting at the University of Leeds. This painting includes one of the characteristic features that entered his work in this period: long, flowing vertical lines, united in direction, but otherwise stubbornly individual. A pictorial device taken from the hand-laid dry stone walls that punctuate the rough hillsides of the Yorkshire Dales, they let Frost's painting reflect the landscape's controlled wilderness: “an honest solution to painting landscape on a flat surface, because that was what it looked like”. In the Tate's 'Winter 1956, Yorkshire', they run most of the length of a piece of hardboard nearly 2.5 metres long – larger than most of the works in the influential and notably plus-sized paintings of the show of American Abstract Expressionism in London that year, also at Tate. Frost wrote that the painting's dizzy rush recalled sledging down in Leeds' Roundhay Park with Kenneth Armitage – a Gregory Fellow in sculpture. Going down Hill 60 – so called because that, in miles, was thought to be the speed achievable on the way down – Frost remembered “I went from half way, lost the sledge at the dip (concave form) (shallow curve) & sailed right on without the sledge slid along on my chest straight into the spectators, bowled several over. Back home”, he continued, he tried to stay on the board: “the continued excitement of Black & White led me to paint 'Winter 56'. To take a line from top to bottom & keep it alive was a real challenge…” For a full painting description on the British Council’s website please click on the link below under ‘More on this painting’
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British Council Collection
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