An abstract painter who has also used materials such as polyethylene, and willow cane to construct pictures, Blow has been said to be concerned pre-eminently with the problems of pure painting: balance and proportion, tension and scale. She was appointed Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 1973.
Sandra Blow, born 1925, studied at St Martin's School of Art from 1941 to 1946, at the Royal Academy Schools from 1946 to 1947, and subsequently at the Academy of Fine Arts, Rome from 1947 to 1948. She travelled to Spain and France in the late 1940s, worked in Cornwall for a year from 1957 to 1958 and went on to teach at the Royal College of Art from 1960.
Blow's first solo exhibition was at Gimpel Fils in 1951, where she continued to exhibit regularly until the mid-sixties. Further solo shows were held at the New Art Centre, London (1966, 1968, 1971, 1973), at Clare College, Cambridge (1968) and at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (Diploma Gallery) in 1979. More recently, a retrospective of her work was held in the Sackler Galleries at the Royal Academy in 1994. Blow also participated in many international group exhibitions from an early stage. These included; 'Young British Painters', at The Art Club, Chicago (1957), which subsequently toured the USA for two years; the Venice Biennale - Young Artists Section (1958); 'Aspects of New British Art', British Council touring exhibition of Australia and New Zealand (1967); and 'St Ives' held at the Tate Gallery, London (1985). More recently her work has been regularly included in group exhibitions at the Tate Gallery, St Ives, and in other shows throughout the UK.
Blow's awards include joint-winner of the International Guggenheim Award (The Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1960), Second Prize Winner in the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition (1961) and the Korn Ferry Picture of the Year Award, Royal Academy (1998). In 1994 her work 'Green and White' was purchased under the terms of the Chantrey Bequest for the Nation. Among her recent commissions are a glass screen for Heathrow Airport (commissioned by the BAA in 1995), and illustrations for 'Waves on Porthmeor Beach', by Alaric Sumner (Wordsworth Books, 1995).
Recent Solo Exhibitions
2001 Tate St Ives
1997 New Millennium Gallery, St Ives
1994 Retrospective, Royal Academy of Arts, London