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 Arthur Burdett Jr Frost  (1887 - 1917)

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Lived/Active: New York / France      Known for: color-theory based abstraction

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Ad Code: 4
Arthur Burdett Jr Frost
from Auction House Records.
Catchin' of Witch Hagar
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Arthur Burdett Frost, Jr., a modernist painter, was the son of Arthur B. Frost, the well-known illustrator, from whom he took his first art lessons.  In 1905, Frost studied in New York City in the studio of William Merritt Chase and also studied with Robert Henri, the latter whom he credited as being the more influential.

In 1906, the Frost family moved to Europe so that nineteen-year old Arthur Jr. could benefit from available academic art education.  He enrolled in the Academie Julian in Paris and became friends with future well-known abstract painter, Patrick Henry Bruce. They both were influenced by modernist artists including Impressionists and Henri Matisse and his revolutionary Fauvist style that emphasized bright coloration.  Bruce introduced Frost to Matisse, and Frost then took a class from him as well as from Robert Delaunay, another non-traditional French painter.  Bruce and Frost became close friends of Delaunay and worked together in his studio.

Frost became especially interested in Synchromism, the colorful relationship-based style of Morgan Russell and Stanton MacDonald-Wright.  Along with these artists and Patrick Henry Bruce, Frost became one of the first American artists to focus on the relation between color theory and abstract art.

On returning to New York in 1915, Frost continued with his color abstractions and used Bruce's method of working from photographs and black and white drawings. He was especially influential on James Daugherty and Jay Van Everen, noted colorist painters.

While some works from the New York years survive, only one painting from his Paris color-painting period is known to survive.  "It is believed that Frost's father destroyed much of his son's work in distress over the young man's death, which occurred due to illness just days before his thirtieth birthday" (Falk).

Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art
Matthew Baigell, Dictionary of American Art

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