Sandra Blow RA (1925 - 2006)

Artworks | Biography

Sandra was born in London in 1925. She left school at 15 and in 1940 entered St Martin’s School of Art and later studied at the Royal Academy Schools.

Sandra went on to live in Italy for a year where she learnt a great deal from the well known Italian painter Alberto Burri, the Italian master of “art informal” in which she later adapted Burri’s manner of composing with sackcloth, tar and other low grade materials for her own, perhaps more naturalistic, ends.

She returned to London in 1950 where she started to assert herself artistically, establishing a calligraphic style in sensitive landscape drawings.

Despite her youth, Sandra was at the forefront of the abstract art movement in Britain during the 1950s, she broke down barriers and prejudices, using a charm and ease of personality to make abstract painting seem natural and commonplace.

Sandra’s career took off and throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, she regularly exhibited with Gimpel Fils, the leading London gallery whose association with St.Ives artists like Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Peter Lanyon anticipated her move in 1957 to live for a year at Zennor, near St.Ives and which later led her to move to St.Ives permanently in the mid-1990s, reinvigorating a Cornish art scene bereft of the glories she had sampled 35 years before. For the first few years she worked in a beachfront studio at Porthmeor, but later built a large studio and home at Bullens Court above the town.

She exhibited locally and also fulfilled her obligations as a Royal Academician. An exhibition to mark Sandra’s 80th birthday was held at Tate Britain coinciding with the publication of a biography, Sandra Blow, by Michael Bird.

  • 'Crystal Gazing'
    67 x 64 cms
    Silkscreen (2003)
  • untitled
  • Revolve
  • Boarderline - 19/85
    99 x 103 cms in frame
  • Orange and red facets
  • Blue Brown Interweave
    Silkscreen with collage
  • Four Square
  • Colour Within
    Silkscreen with collage