A selection of the abstract artist’s most significant paintings, sculptures and collages have been brought together to celebrate his centenary.
Frost first began painting as a prisoner of war in Germany, where he met the Slade-trained artist Adrian Heath. This time of intense stress and starvation led to a ‘heightened perception’ that he continued to explore on his return to England.
In St Ives he worked with key British modernists – including a brief stint as Barbara Hepworth’s assistant – and was able to allow his experiments with abstraction to flourish, producing significant pieces such as the Walk Along the Quay series, and later large-scale canvases such as Blue Winter, inspired by the Yorkshire Dales.
His practice also took a fundamental turn when he discovered acrylic paint while teaching in California in the 1960s. The new qualities it possessed fascinated him, allowing explorations into colour as a ‘presence’ or individual identity across two and three-dimensional work.
Tate has recommissioned some of his lesser-known sculptures from this period for the show, including a ‘soft’ series made from a selection of painted canvas tubes, stacked, looped and filled with polystyrene balls.
This exhibition takes place across two venues, Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange. It has been curated by the team at Tate St Ives, which is currently closed as part of the Tate St Ives Project.