Installation - Contrasts in Red, Black and White, created in the last two years of Frost's life, can be seen as a culmination of his life's work. It brings together the motifs and imagery used by Frost again and again in the course of his work from the early 1950s to 2003, mainly inspired by his Cornish surroundings: the sun, moon, spiral, boats, harbour and quay.
The installation, made up of 31 canvases and eight coloured blocks, was an ambitious undertaking for Frost, and its size and medium encourage the viewer to interract with it in a way that marked a new departure in Frost's work. In a 2003 article in The Guardian by Jon Pratty (loc. cit.), Tate St Ives' Director Susan Daniel-McElroy is quoted as saying 'I think it's really fresh work - with the vigour of a young artist. It has a dynamic that's totally unexpected, because looking at Contrasts, you find yourself within the experience, and that's not happened before in Terry's work. The viewer comes into the environment, you find yourself going in several directions at once, because you knew there was a lot to look at from different angles'.
In the early 1950s Frost became aware of the Russian Constructivists and the early abstract painters, including artists Kasimir Malevich, El Lissitzky, Piet Mondrian and Naum Gabo: 'On one occasion ... Frost saw, and was amazed by, a lithographic revolutionary poster by El Lissitzky at the Leicester Galleries in London. "Of all the lessons you can get in the world", said Frost recently, a half-century after the event, "there's nothing better than seeing something that stops you in your stride, that stops your heart, and is absolutely marvellous!" The image (as he remembers) was in black and white with one red element, the exclamation mark at the end of the letters which constituted the principal graphic feature: CCCP! It was an epiphany' (see M. Gooding, op. cit., p. 11).