Sandra Blow (1925 – 2006)   Sandra Blow (1925 – 2006)  

Sandra Blow (1925 – 2006)

We have available a large scale highly visual coloured collage which highlights some of the key attributes associated with Sandra Blow RA, like ragged edged paper and uneven lines with pencil markings. Our work is untitled, signed and dated 98 and measures Height 38 inches x Width 29.6 inches (H97 cms x W75cms) and is available for £3750 subject to prior sale. (Item 135).

Sandra Blow RA was born in London in 1925, she left school at 15 and in 1940 entered St Martin`s School of Art. After the Second World War, Blow studied at the Royal Academy Schools, but in 1947 moved to Italy for a year. There she motorcycled around the countryside and linked up with the well-known Italian painter Alberto Burri Blow did not produce her own work in Italy, but she was greatly influenced by Burri`s manner of composing works with sackcloth, tar and other basic materials.

On her return to London in 1950 she began to assert herself artistically becoming one of the pioneering abstract painters in Britain. She used cheap, discarded materials such as sawdust, sackcloth, plaster and paint, producing a visually tactile surface, based in earthiness. Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, she regularly exhibited with Gimpel Fils, a well known 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 in a cottage at Zennor near St Ives.

Blow was widely exhibited abroad throughout this time, establishing the international profile that her cosmopolitan outlook was worthy of. Participation in varied travelling displays of contemporary British art saw her work promoted in Italy, Holland, Germany, the USA and later Australasia. In 1957 she featured in the first John Moores biannual exhibition in Liverpool and was included in the Young Artists Section at the Venice Biennale the following year. She won the International Guggenheim Award in 1960 and won second prize at the third John Moores exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in 1961.
The influential Zennor-based critic and painter Patrick Heron offered Blow accommodation at his home, Eagles Nest, from where she found herself a cottage to rent at nearby Tregerthen. Originally used by D.H. Lawrence in 1916, this cottage had a long association with the working side of the art industry. Trevor Bell worked in the adjacent cottage and also enjoyed the patronage of Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon and Roger Hilton..

Blow`s pictures like Cornwall (1958) and Space and Matter (1959) – both of which were prominent in her 2001 retrospective at Tate St Ives – seemed to echo the forms of the dry-stone walls, granite barns and large foam-spattered rocks that lay beyond her barn studio. In 1960, having returned to London, Blow acquired a large studio at Sydney Close in Kensington, where she worked for the next 24 years. In the 1960’s responding to the popular, positive climate of the time, Blow`s palette lightened. She now used easily manipulated collage materials, like torn paper or brightly coloured canvas cut-outs. In moving to St Ives during the mid-1990s, Blow came full circle, reinvigorating a Cornish art scene bereft of the glories she had sampled 35 years before. She was the most amazing colourist able to make hues resonate like Matisse before her. For the first few years back in Cornwall she worked in a beachfront studio at Porthmeor, but later built a large studio and home at Bullens Court above the town where she produced some wonderful highly coloured collages.

Name Dimensions Price  
Untitled Collage Height 38 inches x Width 29.6 inches (H97 cms x W75cms) £3750