Sandra Blow was an Abstract Expressionist whose collage-like paintings often incorporated materials like cement, sawdust, and burlap.
She was elected to the Royal Academy of Art in 1971 and became a Royal Academician in 1979. Her work was included in the Young Artists Section at the 1958 Venice Biennale, and she was the subject of a retrospective at the Tate Britain in 2005.
Blow studied at Saint Martin’s School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools in London before setting off for Italy in 1947, where she enrolled at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. Living for a year with Art Informel master Alberto Burri, Blow was greatly influenced by the Italian artist’s technique of affixing low-grade materials like tar to his panels to create textured surfaces.
After returning to England in 1950, Blow developed her own style of bold, lyrical abstraction that combined painted and constructed elements and helped popularize abstract art in Britain.