TERRY FROST A Book of Ideas

New One-Person Exhibition:

TERRY FROST A Book of Ideas Paintings and Collages from the Artist’s Large Format Work Book. 19 June – 15 July 2017. Private View 17 June 6 – 8pm.

A rare opportunity to view a selection of work from the artist’s large format work/sketch book – never previously exhibited.

A Book of Ideas – Page 22, Acrylic; 46 x 37cm by Terry Frost

Following Terry Frost’s death in 2003, the studio contents were gradually relocated to a specially converted art store. Whilst archiving the artist’s collection some years later, a large format, cloth-bound sketchbook was discovered amongst the artist’s retained paintings and effects.

The richly illustrated volume contained over 50 paintings and collages. A number of these images were developed into known paintings or worked into recognisable print media editions, but some have remained as fascinating prototypes/imaginings of what might have been. Several of the artist’s favourite subjects are explored here, for example ‘Suspended Forms’, ‘Sun and Moon’ theme, the ‘Lorca’ series, etc. The book covers the period 1970s up to 1981.

We have selected a group of 32 individual works from the sketchbook to be mounted and framed for this exhibition. Mostly mixed media, all the works are a standard page size of 46 x 37cm single sheet and 46 x 74cm double sheet. The artworks have been reproduced for this exhibition catalogue in approximately the same sequence they appear in the original sketchbook, to follow the artist’s thought processes.

Sketchbook_Overview_smOver half the originals from the Book of Ideas are reproduced in an archival catalogue published to accompany the exhibition.

A Book of Ideas – Page 7, Collage, gouache and oil pastel; 46 x 37cm by Terry Frost

SIR TERRY FROST RA (1915 – 2003)

Frost was born in Leamington Spa within a working class family. He was encouraged to paint by the artist Adrian Heath, a fellow captive, whilst a Prisoner of War in Germany. Frost moved to St Ives in 1947 and formed part of the group of younger artists (including Sven Berlin, W Barns-Graham and Bryan Wynter) attracted to the place by the cheaper living costs, better climate/light than much of the UK and the other artists already established in the area – Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson etc.

Quickly gaining recognition amongst his peers, Frost was awarded the Gregory Fellowship at Leeds University (1952). Teaching at Leeds College of Art, he later became Professor of Painting at Reading University (a position he held until retiring from Teaching in 1981).

Frost exhibited extensively in the UK and Overseas in both one person and significant group exhibitions. He was one of a small number of British Artists at the time with an international reputation. He was elected Royal Academician in 1992 and Knighted for his services to Art and Art Education in 1998. His work is in major private and public collections worldwide including Tate Gallery, Arts Council and British Council. There is also an extensive bibliography for the artist.

Best know for his exuberant and colourful abstract paintings, collages and prints, Terry Frost shared his zest for art and life with boundless energy and enthusiasm.

Portrait of Terry Frost in his Newlyn studio c.1999, courtesy of the Artist’s Estate


The gallery has a long association of working with the artist Terry Frost and subsequently with the Artist’s Estate. The artist’s first one-person show with the gallery was held in 1989.

The Belgrave Gallery was established in London in1974 and its sister gallery opened in St Ives in 1998, becoming independent as Belgrave St Ives in 2010. The gallery specialises in exhibiting Modern British and Contemporary Art with an emphasis on work produced in Cornwall.

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A Book of Ideas – Page 14/15, Gouache and graphite; 46 x 74cm by Terry Frost


For further information and images (and higher resolution), please contact Richard Blackborow: Belgrave St Ives, 22 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HE richard@belgravestives.co.uk tel. 01736 794888


Brian Rice: Paintings from the Artist’s Archive – Installation Shots

Our first show of this year’s busy exhibition season presents paintings and prints by Dorset-based artist Brian Rice, hanging – for the first time – across all gallery spaces. With works dating from 1953 to 2016, this represents a thorough overview of his long career, which started in the West Country but came to national attention in London during the ‘Swinging Sixties’. A subsequent post will present installation shots of the prints hanging in our second gallery across the way. The exhibition continues until 27 March 2017, and all works in the show can be viewed using the following links:


Brian Rice – Paintings, Press and Preview

On March 4th 2017 we held Brian Rice’s private view, which included the artist signing his new book Brian Rice – Paintings 1952-2016. You can purchase this from us during the exhibition at a special price of £30. Through our installation shots you can peruse the front and back gallery, and to help context, there have been a number of publications about the exhibition including ‘Country Life’ and below ‘Resurgence & Ecologist’. You can view the full exhibition here. We will soon post images of Brian’s Prints in Gallery 2. Here’s a sneak of Brian at the Private View!  You can Find us on FB, Twitter and Instagram #belgravestives  as well as this blog.

Above left: Brian Rice, ‘Drawing No.6 (Yellowfield)’, Gouache and pastel on paper; 59 x 40.5 cms. Right: Brian Rice’s catalogues and books previously published.

resurgence_brian_riceAbove: ‘An Artist Renewed By Time, Earth and Place’ •  A profile of Brian Rice, ‘Resurgence & Ecologist‘ magazine, March/April 2017, No. 301 MANIFESTO FOR A GREEN MIND.

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Brian Rice Paintings 2017 © Graham Gaunt Photowork


Celtic 1964, Oil on canvas; 69 x 69 cms.

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Brian Rice Paintings from the Artist’s Archive 2017 © Graham Gaunt Photowork

Rice_WessesxLandscape_1982_LoResAbove: Brian Rice, Wessex Landscape 1982, Gouache on Bockingford paper; 58.5 x 76 cms.

Rice’s career trajectory has seen a working-class country boy going to the city and then returning to the country – very Thomas Hardy, very Jude the Obscure. In London, instead of fields and hedges, Rice was looking at street signs and advertisements, and for a time that suited him and his art. But the sustenance of such popular imagery – and its formal geometrical counterpart – was soon exhausted, and Rice had to look elsewhere to refresh the week-springs of his art. He re-encountered the countryside and began to explore it in greater depth. As chevrons now became the patterns of fields emerging through snow, so did his more heavily worked paintings express his new understanding. (‘What’s underneath became as important for me as what’s on the surface.’ he declared.)

Andrew Lambirth, November – December 2015, Extract from essay in Brian Rice Paintings 1952 – 2016.

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Brian Rice Paintings from the Artist’s Archive 2017 © Graham Gaunt Photowork

brian_riceBrian Rice: The Creation of the Buddha of Time Passed, 1962, Oil on canvas; 121 x 91.5 cms.

Brian Rice – Paintings and Prints from the Artist’s Archive

New One-Person Exhibition: 6 – 27 March 2017, Belgrave St Ives  

Private View 4 March 6 – 8pm

A unique opportunity to view a selection of work from West Country artist Brian Rice’s personal collection

Belgrave St Ives is pleased to announce an exhibition selected from Rice’s extensive archive. Paintings and prints will be shown across both gallery spaces, the first time a solo artist will occupy the whole of the gallery.

The exhibition has been arranged to coincide with the launch of the book:

Brian Rice Paintings 1952 – 2016 (with an essay by Andrew Lambirth). First full catalogue of paintings by major British artist, highly fashionable in the sixties and now critically acclaimed for his later work. Published by Sansom & Co., 2016. ISBN: 978-1-908326-96-6

Brian Rice’s career covers a period of remarkable dedication and innovation as an accomplished painter and printmaker. He was born in 1936 in Yeovil, Somerset and studied at Yeovil School of Art from 1952-56 and then Goldsmiths College, London from 1958-59. Rice’s formative years as an artist were in London during the 1960s where he was very much part of the ‘swinging’ art scene that included David Hockney, Peter Blake, Joe Tilson, Allen Jones and Derek Boshier. During this period, the paintings and prints he produced formed part of the zeitgeist and appeared in fashion shoots, set designs and TV commercials. His work, which achieved national and international publicity and acclaim, quickly found its way into worldwide collections.

24-number-one-1960Number One 1960, Oil and mixed media on board; 91.5 x 121 cms by Brian Rice.

During the mid-1970s a change in Rice’s circumstances led him to leave London to return to his roots in the West Country. He became a farmer in Dorset, while continuing to teach part-time at Brighton College of Art (1972 – 91). Although rarely exhibiting during this period, he continued to work slowly developing a visual language that was part of a dialogue with the past, inspired by marks made by prehistoric man and the archaeology of the Dorset landscape. In 1995 he started exhibiting again with a renewed fervor.

Following Rice’s exhibition of groundbreaking 1960s’ paintings and prints at the Redfern Gallery, London, in 2014, the opportunity to review his earlier work inspired a new series of totally abstract paintings based around Constructivist and Bauhaus principles. This exhibition has developed from a second catalogue raisonné about his work (the first was a catalogue of prints, the second of paintings).

Brian Rice working in his studio 2016. Photograph by Matt Austin.


For further information and images, please contact Richard Blackborow:

Belgrave St Ives, 22 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1HE

tel. 01736 794888

Email contact


Ffiona Lewis – Tide Lines but also flowers

Ffiona is currently holding her fifth solo exhibition with the gallery. For this showing, the artist has focused on broadly maritime themes that sit particularly well with the gallery’s St Ives location, however she still harnesses the still life and deals with flowers such as in ‘Hemlock Chalice’ below.

It’s interesting to re-visit the catalogue essay from the last show when looking at this work.

On the Table: Collage and Painting

‘It is working one’s way through an invisible iron wall that seems to stand between what one feels and what one can do. How can one get through that wall? Since hammering on it doesn’t help at all. In my view, one must undermine the wall, and grind through it slowly and patiently.’ (Van Gogh, letter to Theo.) In Ffiona Lewis’s show, a slow and patient process is revealed. She has always been a maker of cards, whether birthday or thank you offerings. This has been a major starting point for this body of predominantly interior still lifes. Both worlds share their socialness, their tributes to friendship and events around tables.

The starting blocks are small collages (‘Single Bloom’), manageable, and very importantly, quick to finish. Lewis’s familiar vocabulary is here glued down at the table. Flower shapes, receipts, napkins, sugar in paper sachets – all testimony to things that have happened, arranged into a series of planes, edges and colours with the inherent surprises and enrichment of the collage process.

In tandem with the collages, Lewis remains deeply influenced by her long exploration of flowers. Like other work ‘on the table’, these bouquet offerings are not nature studies, but memories of events and circumstances. Nature is then a springboard into colour. ‘New Rose Cuttings’, with its lustrous red blooms and dark raw umber and olive greens becomes its own investigation, transforming nature’s colour balance into oil paint on board. A quick glance at the work on show might suggest a fork – flower paintings, which retain Lewis’s strong figuration, and the series of apparently more abstract work, clearly related to her collages.

This would be an oversimplification. In ‘Still Life with Broad Bean’, Lewis shows the intimacy of a small table, its cloth and a series of abstracted planes which we can imagine as the leftovers of some event. The work is then anchored by the beans, which we can identify, slightly preposterous, slightly humorous, testaments to something remembered.

‘Glass on Nappery, Indian Yellow’ is not seen by Lewis as an abstraction. It is evidence of a new relationship with colour, mined from the collage and flower paintings. Paint is applied in blocks, but then scraped back in a series of edits to reveal under-painting of lime greens and turquoise blues.

These bigger paintings are informed by the smaller oil studies, back and forth. The balances Lewis sees in nature must be worked out. A plane of white goblet in ‘Still Life – Café 6!’ must be restrained with the tone of its context. It is a work of establishing foregrounds and avoiding ‘splintering’ the composition’s unity.

For Lewis, ‘On the Table’ is not a series of compositions. It is her latest report on the slow and patient process Van Gogh describes. It is a theatre of conversations around the stage of the table, as well as a series of spatial concoctions. For the viewer, it is the product of a discipline of finishing.

CNK, August 2014.