Blue 1957 signed, inscribed and dated 'Blue/Jan 57. Terry Frost' (verso) oil on board 152.5 x 122 cm. (60 x 48 in.)
Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist by the family of the present owner in the late 1950s
Exhibited: St Ives, The Tate Gallery, Terry Frost, The Leeds Connection, 7 September - 11 May 2003
Painted in the same year as the following two lots, Blue is the culmination of Frost's time spent in Leeds from 1954 to 1957 (see lots 24 and 25). It was exhibited at the spring 2003 Tate St Ives exhibition, Terry Frost, The Leeds Connection, for which no complete catalogue was produced. Executed on a grander scale than Red, Black and White and Brown and Orange, it very successfully fuses together the concepts that preoccupied the artist during his time in Yorkshire. The almost ubiquitous polygonal form has been enlarged and centrally positioned, with broad, confident strokes, so that it becomes a frame within the frame. Inside this geometric shape the paint surface is noticeably lighter and thinner, creating a definite and effective depth of field. Outside these six boundaries Frost has to some extent controlled the accidental nature of dripping paint with more deliberately placed, brigter planes and dashes of colour: red, orange and white, which counter the rich blue.
The present lot is a deeply rewarding image of post-war British abstract painting, in which some passages are left to artistic chance and others are carefully constructed to create a diverse and harmonious picture.