Terry Frost RA British, b. 1915

Sir Terry Frost was an English painter best known for his geometric abstractions. Overlapping half-circles, rectangles, and squares of bright colors, the artist's work conveyed his enthusiasm for perceptual phenomena. Born on October 13, 1915, in Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, he served in World War II where he was captured by the Nazis as a prisoner of war. While in captivity at the Stalag 383 prison camp, he met fellow English painter Adrian Heath. Upon his return to England, and spurred by the art-related conversations he had with Heath, Frost attended the Camberwell School of Art. In school, he studied under the renowned painters Ben Nicholson and William Coldstream. Later, as his painting career progressed, he began teaching at institutions such as the University of Leeds and the University of Reading. Frost died on September 1, 2003 in Hayle, United Kingdom. Today, the artist's works are in the collections of the Tate Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh.


Frost was elected a Royal Academician in 1992. He continued to exhibit regularly and a major retrospective took place at the Royal Academy in October 2000 to celebrate his 85th year. Terry Frost was granted a knighthood in 1998.


'Frost has developed a highly individualised version of modernist abstraction. His work asserts the self-sufficiency of the image, yet is fed by constant observation and an intense responsiveness to both art and nature. He has developed a repertoire of recurrent motifs: discs, half-discs and quarter-disc segments, circles, chevrons and arrowheads, truncated ovals, lozenges, triangles and diamonds. With this vocabulary, he creates a visual language of sign and analogy'.

Quoted in Terry Frost, ed. E. Knowles, 1994.