A legacy of colour

Anthony Frost teams up with dad Sir Terry

Cornwall Life - - INSIDE -

Terry Frost first be­gan to paint dur­ing his time as a pris­oner of war in Sta­lag 383 dur­ing World War II, lit­tle could he know he was be­gin­ning an artis­tic dy­nasty that would stretch across three gen­er­a­tions and tra­verse the At­lantic.

It’s a dizzy­ing list en­cap­su­lat­ing his sons Anthony – who has made a stu­dio above Pen­zance’s Ex­change his home and Adrian, an artist in Arkan­saw, grand­son Luke, who cre­ates vi­brant ge­o­graph­i­cal paint­ings lim­ited to two or three colours (fel­low grand­son Dan has cho­sen the stage for his can­vas – his one-man show Drenched has toured ex­ten­sively).

The work of Terry, Anthony and Luke comes to­gether at Devon’s Brook Gallery along­side work by friends cho­sen by Anthony. ‘It’s in our genes,’ ad­mits Anthony. ‘My work is a re­ac­tion to my fa­ther, and Luke’s work is a re­ac­tion to me.’

Anthony’s work com­bines paint­ings with other ma­te­ri­als – this can in­clude and means, more than any other work, they need to be viewed in the flesh. You’ll find sails, hes­sian sack­ing and even metal taken from a chair. ‘The sail resists paint as it is wa­ter­proof,’ ex­plains Anthony, who en­joys the chal­lenge of mak­ing a mark and the ef­fect it leaves. As a re­sult the sur­faces of­fer a his­tory in its lay­ers; a dis­till­ing of the medium. ‘I work in an ac­ci­den­tal way,’ he con­tin­ues. ‘I try to be hap­haz­ard; I want to show the mak­ing of the paint­ing I’m fight­ing against con­trivance.’

Along­side his richly tex­tured col­laged paint­ings, Anthony is show­ing a se­ries of stun­ning prints. Work­ing in a medium that re­quires a flat sur­face, he has re­lied on colour and shape to re­veal his skill. Both medi­ums work through cre­at­ing an en­vi­ron­ment for ac­ci­dents to hap­pen, he says. And he works in other medi­ums - For lovers of the late Mark E Smith, found­ing mem­ber of The Fall, Anthony’s work will be fa­mil­iar through the many al­bum cover de­signs he cre­ated for his close friend, most no­tably Ex­tri­cate. In this show he is joined by a num­ber of hand­picked artists in­clud­ing Bob Dev­ereux and Felic­ity Mara.

Born in St Ives in 1951,

Anthony stud­ied art at Cardiff Col­lege of Art and his shows have in­cluded Art Now Corn­wall at Tate St Ives. He has cho­sen nearby Pen­zance as his artis­tic home with a stu­dio above The Ex­change. Like most sons of well-known artists, Anthony has worked to find his own artis­tic voice sep­a­rate to that of such a suc­cess­ful and fa­mous artist – his brother Adrian has es­chewed colour in favour of mono­chrome.

‘He does ev­ery­thing in black tar and feath­ers. He tried not to be an artist – he be­came a builder in St Ives but drifted back to it.’

A third brother Stephen Frost is best known as ac­tor and co­me­dian who worked with the Com­edy Store and as the other half of the Obliv­ion Boys.

Far from be­ing the ele­phant in the room, Anthony’s show em­braces his fa­ther’s work with a se­ries of prints in­cluded in the show. Terry was renowned for his use of the Cor­nish light, colour and shape to start a new art move­ment in Eng­land. ‘He used to go draw­ing with Peter Lanyon,’ says Anthony of Terry, who was knighted for his con­tri­bu­tion to Bri­tish art. Terry joined artists in­clud­ing Roger Hil­ton, Pa­trick Heron, Bar­bara Hep­worth and Bryan Wyn­ter in the Cor­nish artis­tic colony of St Ives dur­ing the 1950s. ‘Peter would get him to roll around on the ground and look up,’ says Anthony about his fa­ther.

Terry’s work cap­tured his ex­pe­ri­ence of the land­scape – and the light. His prints to­gether with his son and grand­son cel­e­brate that light and a love (and con­trol) of colour that makes all the work very easy to love as well as trace how de­light in land­scape trav­elled through the 20th cen­tury. But Terry was in­spired by many other things. ‘My sis­ter used to copy his work,’ re­mem­bers Anthony. ‘It would drive him mad. He used to say “it’s twice as good as mine”.’

Anthony Frost, Fam­ily and Friends: St Ives In­spired took place at Brook Gallery Brook­gallery.co.uk

ABOVE RIGHT:Acrylic and Pu­mice on hes­sian scrim, sail­cloth, sack­ing and can­vas (2016)RIGHT:Acrylic and pu­mice on scaf­fold net­ting, rip stop, hes­sian scrim,sail, sack­ing and can­vas (2016)

LEFT: Artist Anthony Frost, son of Sir Terry Frost sits be­low work by his fa­ther. Photo: Ewen MacDon­ald

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