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Abstract artist in painting and constructions. Born at Folkestone, she studied at Goldsmiths’ College School of Art, 1925–9, and at the Royal College of Art, 1929–32. Married the artist Kenneth Martin, 1930. Four years later she began exhibiting at the AIA using her maiden name, Mary Balmford, boldly coloured landscapes and still lifes. She moved towards geometric abstraction in the 1940s. She taught drawing, design and weaving at Chelmsford School of Art, 1941–4. Painted her first abstract picture in 1950, made her first reliefs in 1951 and her first free-standing construction five years later. First one-man show, with her husband, at the Heffer Gallery, Cambridge, in 1954, six years before her first major show, at the ICA. Another notable exhibition occurred at the Tate Gallery – it holds her work – in 1984.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)


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