Robert Sadler | Pilot Turned Painter

Robert Sadler | Pilot Turned Painter

Three works by unexpected artist Robert Sadler feature in our upcoming 25 April Modern & Contemporary Art Sale, here we discover more about his life and works.

31 March 2023

Robert Sadler (1909-2001) was born in Newmarket, Suffolk, the son of a racehorse trainer. By the age of fourteen he was drawing and painting aeroplanes, horses, houses and landscapes. He joined the Royal Air Force and, in 1942, whilst posted to the Air Ministry as 'Director of Plans', he attended art school in London. In 1953 he moved to the USA to take up the post as representative on the NATO Joint Chiefs of Staff Intelligence Committee, during which period he attended the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC, where he first encountered the work of the American Abstract Expressionists. Returning to the UK in 1955, having retired from the RAF, he moved back to Newmarket, in his words: 'to devote the rest of my life to painting'.

He exhibited widely during his working life. His first one-man show was at Swaffham Prior, Cambridge, and from then until 1963 he lived and painted in a largely abstract expressionist style, influenced by the École de Paris Tachisme of Poliakoff and de Stael, and by the contemporary British work of Peter Lanyon, William Scott, Bryan Wynter and Adrian Heath. In 1964 Sadler moved to Aldeburgh, Suffolk and built a new studio at 39 The Terrace, where he lived until his death in August 2001.

In recent years Sworders have sold nearly 100 works by Robert Sadler and are pleased to offer the following three paintings from the estate of the artist.



For further information about our upcoming 25 April Modern & Contemporary Art Sale, please contact Amy Scanlon | 




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