Explore original St Ives School paintings for sale from the St Ives School of Abstract and Modern artists online, or visit the Cornish Masters Art Gallery in St Ives. The seeds of St Ives position as Britain's centre of modern art were sown by Ben Nicholson and his wife Barbara Hepworth when they settled there in 1939. An earlier visit to St Ives by Nicholson and Christopher Wood and an encounter with the naive artist and fisherman Alfred Wallis, had a profound impact and influenced Nicholson's later move.  In the late 1940s and early 1950s a group of younger artists gathered around Hepworth and Nicholson and the St Ives School gained critical mass becoming the centre of abstract art in the country. The principal figures of the St Ives School included Peter Lanyon, who was brought up in St Ives, Patrick Heron, Paul Feiler, John WellsTerry Frost, Roger Hilton, Bryan Wynter and Wilhelmina Barns-Graham. During the 1950s there was a degree of cross-fertilisation between the Abstract Expressionists in New York and the St Ives Modernists. In March 1951 works, including Boat by Terry Frost, appeared alongside those by the titans of American Abstract Expressionism in the annual exhibition of Abstract Art in New York. In 1959 Mark Rothko visited Lanyon, Feiler and Frost in Cornwall closely followed by the gallery owner, Bertha Schaefer who gave Frost his first New York one-man show in 1960 (in which Orange and Ochre was sold).


A major redevelopment of the Tate St Ives in 2017 has afforded a permanent, dedicated display of the work of this remarkable collective of artists.