This picture is from a group that established Terry Frost’s early reputation. It is one of the last paintings acquired by Margaret Davies, and demonstrates how she remained aware of the latest work by emerging young artists. Growing up in the Midlands, Frost had a variety of jobs in small local workshops and in a factory. He was called up in 1939, and was captured in the battle for Crete in 1941. He was held in Stalag 383 in Germany, where he spent time drawing and painting, and became a close friend of the artist Adrian Heath (1920–1992). Frost resolved to attend art college and pursue an artistic career when war ended. After the War Frost married and briefly lived in St Ives, before studying at Camberwell School of Art with Victor Pasmore(1908–1998). Pasmore and Heath were beginning to test ways in which observing the world through still life and portraiture corresponded with a formal language of painting and collage, where colour and form possessed their own effect. Frost returned to St Ives in 1950, to be near friends like Peter Lanyon (1918–1964) and Bryan Wynter (1915–1975), who understood the importance of intense personal experience of the landscape. As Frost’s work became distinctively his own, from 1949 to 1953, these twin influences fused. His paintings were organized with crisp lines, rectangles and circles painted or pasted on as collage, and contrasts of colour emphasising the construction of space. Their subjects were views and journeys along coasts, with the most characteristic evoking a very specific experience: his walk along the quay in St Ives harbour near his tiny terraced cottage.
Where to see this painting?
National Museum Wales, National Museum Cardiff
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