Sandra Blow (b. 1925) is one of the most important British artists of the last 50 years. During this time of rapid change in the art world, her commitment to abstract painting has resulted in a large and diverse body of work of distinctive power and subtlety. Despite her high reputation, little has previously been published about Blow. This is the first full-length study of her life and art. Lavishly illustrated throughout, it provides the first fully representative selection of works spanning all stages of her career. Michael Bird has worked in close collaboration with the artist and has drawn on a wealth of unpublished material. He explores the crucial importance of abstraction to Blow, and looks in depth at her relationship to other artists including Alberto Burri and Roger Hilton. He also places Blow's work in the context of British and international art movements of the post-war period and late twentieth century. Through close attention to Blow's studio practice, this book provides wide-ranging insights into her creative process. It reveals the intensity of emotional engagement and technical experimentation that lie behind the apparent spontaneity of her vivid handling of materials, colour and form.
Michael Bird is an author and art historian. He was born in London and educated at Haberdashers' Aske's School and Merton College, Oxford. He has published many books and articles about modern British art, including 'The St Ives Artists: A Biography of Place and Time' (2008) and several monographs. His books set artists' lives and work in the social and cultural landscape of their times: 'art history, like biography or fiction, should be able to draw the reader into a vivid sense of why things happened as they did.' His '100 Ideas that Changed Art' was a Best Books of 2012 choice in the UK and USA and has been translated into seven languages.