Trevor Bell obituary

By Mike Tooby

Modern artist noted for his large-scale and irregular canvases and lavish use of colour

The vibrant abstract paintings and drawings of Trevor Bell, who has died aged 87, helped define the modern art of the community of St Ives. But he also spent a significant part of his career in the US, where he is remembered as a charismatic teacher as well as for huge, expansive paintings and public artworks.

In 2007 Tate St Ives was filled with works selected from five decades of Bell's career. Paintings expressing the shifting light and surging gales of Cornwall and the vertiginous scale of the Himalayas sat alongside quiet, light-filled canvases. The exhibition gave a vivid sense of Bell's restless energy, indicated the sheer physical achievement of making such vast and complex objects, and also gave an insight into his constant search for a still centre.

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