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Anthony Frost: Painting the Joy of Colour

  • The Private View of Anthony Frost´s exhibition at Beaux Arts in Cork Street, was packed with people animated in vibrant discussions responding to the colourful paintings.The artist himself was surrounded by friendly faces and welcoming embraces. He was often fanning himself in an attempt to cool off from all the buzz and excitement. The paintings were varied in dimensions but united in consistent form and colour. The varied palette was a response to the artists decision to purchase every colour produced by his favourite make of acrylic paints, Golden Acrylic. In addition to this decision, paints inherited from his late father, the internationally recognized abstract painter Terry Frost, were incorporated into the creation of this series of new works.

    One green work entitled Grow Fins ll  particularly caught my attention. Green is a colour typically associated with the Landscape genre, and Terry Frost was quoted as saying that ´I´m OK on reds and blues and yellows I can almost do it in my mind, but the greens take some holding on my mind screen. Perhaps I´ve never got green free, i.e. from the sea and landscape. I must get it free for itself as green, or a particular green, otherwise l´ll never get it to be as responsible as the green in nature. A colour is no good unless it takes full responsibility for its yellowness or blueness etc´(1)

    However, the artist Anthony Frost has until now denied any connection between his artworks and Landscape, a counter movement to explore new terrain outside of the enduring attraction of The St Ives School. He is quoted in the exhibition catalogue as saying that the ´thing with my father was he was always referring to nature and landscape...I wanted to be different to my dad, and anything that seemed recognizable I´d just paint it out´(2). Perhaps it is the use of his fathers paints infusing into the spirit of the works, which has resulted in some of the work in this exhibition visually and conceptually references Landscape. The artist acknowledges its presence with regards to an artwork entitled A Tinned Teardrop with the statement ´I can see it´s almost an aerial view´(2)


    Close up to the surface, one is presented with a feast of textures, contrasting colours, and complex and energetic brush marks. As one steps gently backwards, the images unite and flatten, to create an abstracted montage of triangles and curves. Individually they are exceedingly distinct, often extending beyond the picture frame with delicate edges venturing bravely into the surrounding space. This is an abstract show with splashes of varied colours alluding to great depth. The heavily layered surface successfully crosses the boundaries between sculpture and painting. It is visibly apparent that the artist has enjoyed making the works with great energy and real passion. The mark making varies from knife slashed lines, energetic brush strokes and layered colours delicately emphasizing the form of the applied mesh of material. The edges between colours are reminiscent of Landscape, a subtle coastline touches the sea, a vertical cliff edge unites a shore with a sky and a horizontal boundary of a sky with a mountain. Whilst the juxtaposition of vibrant colours are omnipresent, shadows are non-existent.

    There are no dark corners in this exhibition, and I highly recommend a visit to brighten and warm yourself up, with the joy of abstracted creation.


    Anthony Frost: Sun - Zoom - Spark

    6 February - 2 March 2013

    Beaux Arts 

    22 Cork Street

    London W1S 3NA


    1Stephens, C. (2000) ´Terry Frost´, St Ives Artists, Tate Publishing, Artists notebook, (1970). p61

    2 Frost, A. (2013) ´Anthony Frost - Sun - Zoom - Spark´, Exhibition Catalogue, Beaux Arts, Review by Stewart Lee, p5.


    1 - A portrait of the Artist Anthony Frost, taken at the private view on the 5th February by Jon Hall

    2 - Frost, A. (2011) Grow Fins ll, Acylic and pumice on sacking, bird feeder, plastic netting, boot lace, cloth and cavas, 12.5 x 23 cm 

    3 - Frost, A. (2011) The dust blows forward the dust blows back, Acrylic and pumice on fruit netting, Hessian Scrim, Plast netting, cloth and canvas, 30.5 x 61 cm.


    Natasha Hall is a Practising Artist researching for a Phd on Contemporary Landscape Painting.