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Green, Black and White Movement (1951)

Terry Frost

oil on canvas

Tate, London, Liverpool and St Ives

Green, Black and White Movement (1951)

© estate of Terry Frost. All rights reserved, DACS 2022 Photo credit: Tate





Oil, Canvas, Pencil, Charcoal


109.2 x 85 (support) cm

Accession Number:



Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 1971



Ownership history:

Acquired by Ben Nicholson (1894-1982) by exchange with the artist [possibly for 1929 (composition) - a 'diamond' picture now at Dudmaston, National Trust, purchased from The Redfern Gallery by Sir George Labouchdere in 1957] in 1951; returned to Terry Frost (1915-2003) in 1951; from whom purchased through the Leicester Galleries, London by Howard Bliss (1894-1977), by February 1952; Waddington Galleries, London, by 1964; from whom purchased by Alistair McAlpine (1942-2014); gifted by Alistair McAlpine to the Contemporary Art Society, 1971; presented to the Tate Gallery, 1971


Abstract, Shape
Green, Black and White Movement (1951) is a geometrical abstract work by Terry Frost whilst still evoking elements such as rocking boats (the melon-like shapes) seen on the quayside in St Ives, the seaside artist colony in Cornwall. Frost had settled there with his family in 1946, on the advice of Adrian Heath, whom he had met in a German prisoner of war camp during WW2 and was preparing to publish Abstract Art: Its Origins and Meanings (1953). In St Ives Frost came into contact with the more senior modernist artists such as Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth and their younger followers, including Peter Lanyon and John Wells, who had been close to Naum Gabo in London during the war. They all would have inspired Frost to look at the Russian constructivists as a source for his post-war artistic practice but Frost's work always retains an emotional connection to his surroundings. This picture is one of two versions; as Frost had explained himself that he had used too much rabbit-skin glue on the chalk ground on the first version and immediately made another, now in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (GMA1299).

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