Tate St Ives has taken to showing its major exhibitions in its biggest galleries and then using the remaining one or two to provide an artistic context—normally favourite and influential images and sculptures chosen from the Tate’s collection. This plan works particularly well for display of Sandra Blow’s rhythmic abstractions, with the artist selecting 1950s and 60s collages by Burri, Nicholson, Hilton, Tàpies and Appel which relate to aspects of her own work. In the late 50s Blow spent a year in Cornwall, with Hilton, Lanyon and Heron nearby—but for the much of the rest of her career, she was based in London. Now she is back in Cornwall, this time with the sea more of an influence than the landscape and a new series of work created especially for this show. Blow used bits of the Cornish landscape in her work in the 1950s, with sacking, sand and straw appearing in her collages, while her paintings from the late 80s break free from the ground with broad splashes of colour. Her latest work (above, “Reeling water”, 2001) is even brighter in tone with a grid-like structure ordering the dancing colours.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'What's on: Sandra Blow'