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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 September, 2003, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Artist Sir Terry Frost dies
Terry Frost worked with Barbara Hepworth
Artist Sir Terry Frost, one of the most celebrated contemporary artists in the UK, has died aged 87.

Sir Terry, who lived and worked in Cornwall, had been ill for some time, The Royal Academy of Arts in London said.

Sir Terry was famous for his passionate use of circles and lines in his work.

He had a very, very joyful personality and that was the great strength of his work
Patricia Singh, Beaux Art Gallery
Knighted in 1998, he lived in Newlyn in Cornwall, and had been working until very recently. He was also a Royal Academician.

The artist died on Monday night near his home in Newlyn, Cornwall, with his family around him.

He had been diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, a spokeswoman for the Royal Academy of Arts said.

Sir Terry was born in Leamington Spa in Warwickshire in 1915. He began to paint during World War 2, after being taken prisoner during the invasion of Crete in 1941.

Dawn Blue Newlyn Quay 2002

He decided that he wanted to become a painter at the end of the war, and attended Camberwell School of Art thanks to an ex-serviceman's grant.

He also attended the St Ives School of Art and in 1951 worked as an assistant to sculptor Barbara Hepworth.

He taught at Bath Academy of Art and in Leeds, before becoming Artist in Residence at the Department of Fine Art, Reading University in 1965. He was later the university's Professor of Painting.

His first one-man show was held at the Leicester Galleries in 1952. He exhibited in London many times, with a major retrospective, Terry Frost: Six Decades, being held at the Royal Academy in 2000.

Writing in tribute to the painter before he died, the owners of Badcock's Gallery, in Sir Terry's home town of Newlyn, said: "His unique ability to allow the joy of life to emanate from his work reduces the formal qualities of painting to a simplicity that is the unforgettable trade mark of this remarkable man."

Patricia Singh, a friend and colleague who represented Sir Terry at London's Beaux Arts Gallery for 25 years, described him as one of the forerunners of abstract painting in the UK.

"He was a tremendously influential force in British art and will go on being so," she said.

"He had a very, very joyful personality and that was the great strength of his work. They were life affirming paintings that were full of colour and air.

"A lot of his inspiration was Cornish, from the sea and the light and the reflections on the water.

"He was a very noisy person who would say the secret of long life was champagne and Guinness."

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