by Ida Kar
2 1/4 inch square film negative, 1955
Artistback to top
- Ida Kar (1908-1974), Photographer. Artist associated with 1544 portraits, Sitter in 136 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Freestone, Clare (appreciation) Wright, Karen (appreciation), Ida Kar Bohemian Photographer, 2011 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 10 March to 19 June 2011), p. 88 Read entry
Blow began her art education at St Martin's School of Art in London aged just fifteen, followed by spells at the Royal Academy Schools (1946-7) and the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome (1947-8). By the mid-1940s Blow was familiar with Soho's bohemian nightlife and at the time Kar and Musgrave were establishing themselves in London, she had become acquainted with the artists congregating there. While Blow was travelling in 1947, the Italian abstract artist Alberto Burri became her lover and inspired her to adopt, from 1956, the techniques of abstraction and coIlage. Blow had her first solo exhibition at the Gimpel Fils Gallery in London in 1951 and exhibited there throughout the following decade, developing her paintings of natural space and material surfaces. In 1957 she featured in the first John Moores biannual exhibition in Liverpool (she won second prize there in 1961) and was included in the Young Artists section at the Biennale in 1958. Blow went to stay with the artist Patrick Heron and lived in St Ives for a time (1957-8), making frequent visits over the following years. From 1960 to 1975 she taught at the Royal College of Art and was elected a Royal Academician in 1978.