Sir Terry Frost, R.A. (1915-2003): A Leamington Lad
24th July 2015 - 11th October 2015
In 1915 Terry Frost was born in Leamington Spa. He grew up in a house on Rugby Road, attended the Central School on Leicester Street and did a number of jobs in the town before war broke out in 1939 and he was called up.
In 1941 he was imprisoned in the prisoner of war camp in Bavaria called Stalag 383. There he met the artist Adrian Heath and was inspired to paint.
In 1944 the Art Gallery & Museum staged a small exhibition of paintings Frost had sent back from the camp and when he returned to Leamington in 1945 he was determined to pursue a career in art. Later that year he married Kathleen Clark and together they made the brave decision to move to St Ives, Cornwall, to become part of the artistic community which has developed there.
Frost became one of the most famous abstract artists of the 20th century. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1992 and received a knighthood in 1998. Although he remained based in Cornwall for much of the rest of his life he maintained links with Leamington.
A second exhibition at the Art Gallery & Museum took place in 1964 and a third in 1996, In1998 he donated a collection of works to the gallery which will be displayed for the first time in this exhibition. Two years later he received an honorary degree at Warwick University.
This exhibition, in the year which marks the centenary of his birth will be accompanied by a publication which focuses on Frost's early life and ongoing connection with his home town.
23 October 2015 – 17 January 2016
Between 2000 and 2005 the Art Gallery & Museum developed a collection of contemporary art works which explored the history of the Royal Pump Rooms as a former centre for medical treatments, especially hydrotherapy and physiotherapy. 10 years after the project finished, the Medicate 2015 exhibition will revisit this unique group of artworks, which will be accompanied by more recent acquisitions inspired by the same theme.
The works of art in this collection examine the physical, societal and psychological effects of disease on people as well as the values and practices of medical science. Artists represented in the collection include: Damien Hirst, Christine Borland, Keith Coventy, Jason Oddy, Laura Glassar, Tania Kovats, Jordan Baseman, Alexa Wright, Marc Quinn and Lyndall Phelps. Glassar and Wright's work question how our bodily appearance is shaped by illness or disease and how we react to this. Hirst's and Coventry's work can be seen to question how the pharmaceutical and recreational drugs and foods we consume affect us physically.
The Medicate collection was created with the help of the artists and funders: the Wellcome Trust, Arts Council of England, Resource/ V&A Purchase Grant Fund. A panel of consultants advised on the selection of artworks for the collection: Mr Francis Wells, Professor Nick Spencer, Professor Martin Kemp, Anna Harrison, Sandra Percival and Gill Hedley.
Since the Medicate project finished in 2005, Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum have continued to collect work with a link to medical science, spas and healing. Works by Edmund de Wall, Lyndall Phelps, Zadok Ben David and Jacqueline Donachie have recently been acquired to expand this area of the collection.