Trevor Bell was born in Leeds in 1930 and attended the local college of art. In his twenties, working in West Cornwall, he made his reputation as a leading member of the younger generation of St. Ives artists who established British art on the world stage. Following his enormously successful first one-man exhibition at the Waddington Galleries in London in 1958, Trevor Bell was awarded the Paris Biennale International Painting Prize and an Italian Government Scholarship. He later became a Gregory Fellow in painting at Leeds University. After a larger travelling retrospective in Scotland, Ireland and England in 1970 and a major one-man show at the Whitechapel Gallery in London in 1973, Trevor was invited to become Professor for Master (Graduate) Painting at the Florida State University in Tallahassee. There he developed the large-scale, intensely coloured paintings for which he is best known.
Important exhibitions were held at the Corcoran Gallery and the Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum in Miami, the Cummer Gallery in Jacksonville and the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was included in the London Tate Gallery’s St.Ives 1939 – 1964 exhibition, and more recently in the 1996-7 and 1998-9, exhibited large-scale paintings at the Tate Gallery, St Ives. He has been a regular exhibitor in private galleries in Miami, Atlanta and Chicago, and has had works purchased and commissioned by numerous international museum, public and private collections. He was twice a recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Council of Florida. He has lived and worked in England, France, Italy and Canada, returning to live in Cornwall in 1996. In 1998 he was honoured with an Emeritus Professorship by Florida State University.