- Museum number
Object: Bow movement
Object: Black and white movement
Abstract composition of boats moored in harbour at St Ives. 1956
- Production date
Height: 130 millimetres
Width: 332 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from Frances Carey & Antony Griffiths, 'Avant-Garde British Printmaking 1914-1960', BMP 1990, no.171.
According to a pencil note on the back, this print was made in St Ives in the summer of 1956. The image is clearly based on the boats moored in the harbour there, a subject whose possibilities Frost had explored since the early fifties. He described in 1954 the sensations he had tried to capture in an earlier treatment of the theme, 'Blue Movement' (1953):
"I had spent a number of evenings looking out over the harbour at St Ives in Cornwall. Although I had been observing a multiplicity of movement during those evenings, they all evoked a common emotion or mood - a state of delight in front of nature. On one particular blue twilit evening I was watching what I can only describe as a synthesis of movement and counter-movement. That is to say the rise and fall of the boats, the space drawing of the mastheads, the opposing movements of the incoming sea and outblowing off-shore wind - all this plus the predominant feel of blue in the evening and the static brown of the foreshore, generated an emotional state which was to find expression in the painting 'Blue Movement'.
In this painting I was trying to give expression to my total experience of that particular evening. I was not portraying the boats, the sand, the horizon or any other subject-matter, but concentrating on the emotion engendered by what I saw. The subject-matter is in fact the sensation evoked by the movements and the colour in the harbour. What I have painted is an arrangement of form and colour which evokes for me a similar feeling.
The process of painting this picture was not as swift and decisive as my description might imply. Its first form was that of a pencil drawing, then a monotone, then one, two and three-colour lino-cuts, a small painting of similar proportions and finally the 'Blue Movement' itself. These progressive stages helped me to clarify my ideas, to adjust the various forms to a state of dynamic equilibrium, and to arrive at a final proportion for the canvas" (Lawrence Alloway, 'Nine Abstract Artists', London 1954, pp.23-4).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1990/1 Sept.-Jan., BM, 'Avant-Garde British Printmaking 1914-1960', no.171
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number