Sandra’s innovative approach to painting during the 1950s assured
her position as one of the leaders of the post war British Abstract
Sandra studied at St. Martin’s (1941-6) and then the Royal Academy
Schools before leaving for Italy. Alberto Burri introduced Sandra to
the potentials of collage and the tensions between textures therein.
From her mentor Sandra distilled her own form of reductive abstract
expressionism, preoccupied with space, matter and movement.
Fuelled also by the Renaissance principles of geometry, light and scale,
Sandra set about treating form with its own innate reality and rejecting
subject matter in terms of representation.
‘I can remember that extraordinary sense of shedding everything,
of leaving all known tracks. And then just looking for something that
could be my own, of interpreting the actual structure of the painting
which seems to connect with abstract structure and space and find my
own language in it.
Throughout the fifties Sandra enjoyed regular one man shows at Gimpel
Fils, London and had soon exhibited all over the world. In 1978 Sandra
was elected Royal Academician and in 1994 the Royal Academy honoured
her achievements with a solo show.
In 2005, Sandra celebrated her 80th Birthday. There were a number of
shows and events across the country to mark the occasion, including
the launch of a new book and a retrospective at the Tate.
Sandra Blow sadly died on 22nd August 2006.