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Sandra Blow British, 1925-2006

A pioneer of the British post-war abstract movement, Blow’s work started in the radical atmosphere of the pre-Arte Povera movement under the influence of lover Alberto Burri, and she remained loyal to the language of abstraction throughout her career. Burri introduced her to paintings and assemblages created with sackcloth and ashes, the only mediums available to him as a prisoner of war. She went on to exhibit in the most important British contemporary exhibitions of the 1950s and 1960s, and showed throughout America and Europe alongside the biggest artist names of the day. Her work became more graphic, colourful and exuberant as her career developed, so did her ambition of scale. Monumental canvases capture delicate responses to space and light, or vivid, electric explosions of colour; Roger Hilton, who Blow met when she moved to St Ives in the 1950’s called her ‘an heroic painter’.