Sandra Blow Ra

Sandra Blow Ra

Blow was at the forefront of British abstract modern art during the 1950's, pioneering a new expressive informality, using cheap, discarded materials such as sawdust, sackcloth and plaster. In her long career she produced many memorable images that time and again plugged directly into the mysterious and ambiguous.  Read more

Blow was born in London on September 14th, 1925. She spent her childhood in Kent and enrolled at St Martin's School of Art when she was only fifteen. She went on to study at the Royal Academy Schools, and from there on to the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. It was in Rome that Blow spent a formative year in the company of the great Italian artist Alberto Burri, looking at frescoes and paintings in rundown churches and palazzi and absorbing the natural beauty of the landscape, at a time when the country was visibly suffering the aftermath of the war.

Blow returned to London to allow herself to balance her personal experience with the enormous influence of Italy and of Burri, and to allow herself to paint.

Between 1950 and 1975, she became a tutor at the Royal College of Art. A time of rapid and fundamental changes in British society, Blow played as much of a part as anybody in the development of post-war abstract art in Britain. She became a regular visitor to St Ives in Cornwall and was in touch with the new generation of St Ives artists, including Roger Hilton, Patrick Heron, Terry Frost and Barbara Hepworth.

Blow was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Art in 1971, and in 1978 a Royal Academician.

Blow finally relocated from London to St Ives in 1994 and established her studio complex, from where she continued to work with characteristic energy and vigour until her death in 2006. Her work was, and continues to be, shown in numerous collections including the Tate London and St Ives, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Guggenheim Museum, The Arts Council of Great Britain and the Museum of Modern Art New York.


June/JulyAugust 2014

Michael Bird's fascinating survey of Sandra Blow's life and art is now available for the first time in a handsome paperback edition. Compiled in collaboration with the artist during the last years of her life, it provides a definitive overview of her career. The book is lavishly illustrated throughout with a fully representative selection of Blow's work including over 100 colour and 38 monochrome images.

Please call us at our shop on 01273 481020 to order a copy.