Trevor Bell was born in Leeds and studied at the College of Art from 1947-1952. He worked as a teacher at Harrogate College of Art, before moving to Cornwall in 1955 upon the advice of his contemporary, Terry Frost RA. He became a leading member of the younger generation of St Ives artists, exhibiting with the Penwith Society of Arts from 1956. A series of solo exhibitions at Waddington Galleries followed from 1958 onwards.
In 1959 he won one of six main painting prizes at the first Paris International Biennale of Young Artists, and was awarded an Italian government sponsorship (1958-1959) before taking up the Gregory Fellowship at Leeds University in 1960. Bell returned to teaching following an invitation to become Professor of Graduate Painting at Florida State University in the 1970s, whilst continuing to exhibit in the States and in Europe, including a major solo show at Whitechapel Art Gallery, London in 1973. He lived in the United States for over twenty years, but moving full-circle he returned to settle and paint in Cornwall during the 1990s.
In 1995 he exhibited at the Tate Gallery St. Ives and was included in the John Moores Exhibition, Liverpool. His first large one-man show since returning to Britain followed in 1998 at The New Millennium Art Gallery, St. Ives.
Public collections include:
Arts Council of England, London
British Museum, London
Getty Research Institute, California
Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona
Tate Gallery, London
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
signed and dated 1959
The Artist, John Walker
London, Waddingtons, Trevor Bell Recent Paintings, 2 - 27 February 1960, cat no 17
Michael Bird, The St Ives Artists, A Biography of Place and Time
Lund Humphries 2016, illustrated page 201
Although Trevor Bell was living and working in St Ives when he created this work, much of his inspiration was drawn from the colours and textures of the Italian landscape experienced during his Government Scholarship awarded in 1958. Bell plays with the immersive power of colour in Red, Black and Intensities with crimson pigment dominating the visual field. The work references his earlier experimentation with swathes of sombre colour and refines his use of black.