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British Abstraction: Three Views

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Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, William Scott

Abstraction has roots in the physical world. Meaning literally drawn from, the term abstraction suggests a source from which line, color, and shape emerge. While many American artists of the postwar period moved increasingly toward a rhetoric of pure disembodied form, their British counterparts embraced a relationship to the landscape.  In particular, the fishing town of St. Ives, Cornwall became a magnet for artists including Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, and William Scott seeking inspiration from its coastal terrain, weather, and light. Although thoroughly abstract, these works flicker with references to the horizon, deep space, crags, and boulders. Their vibrant colors and geometric forms resonate with the experience of being grounded in time and space.  

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