World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Charles Blackman

Article Id: WHEBN0002897557
Reproduction Date:

Title: Charles Blackman  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Jon Molvig, Works based on Alice in Wonderland, Antipodeans, Andrew Sibley, Blackman
Collection: 1928 Births, Australian Painters, Living People, People from Sydney
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Charles Blackman

Charles Blackman
Born (1928-08-12) 12 August 1928
Sydney, Australia
Occupation Painter

Charles Blackman (born 12 August 1928) is an Australian painter, noted for the Schoolgirl and Alice in Wonderland series of the 1950s. He was a member of the Antipodeans, a group of Melbourne painters that also included Arthur Boyd, David Boyd, John Brack, Robert Dickerson, John Perceval and Clifton Pugh.


  • Early life and initial success 1
  • Later life 2
  • Recognition 3
  • See also 4
  • External links 5
  • References 6

Early life and initial success

Blackman, born 12 August 1928 in Sydney, left school at 13 and worked as an illustrator with the Sydney Sun newspaper while attending night classes at Mirka Mora.

In 1959 he was a signatory to the Antipodean Manifesto,[1] a statement protesting the dominance of abstract expressionism. The manifesto's adherents have been dubbed the Antipodeans Group. His work is associated with dreamlike images tinged with mystery and foreboding. In 1960 he lived in London after winning the Helena Rubenstein Scholarship, settling in Sydney upon his return six years later. In 1970 he moved to Paris, when awarded the atelier studio in the Cité des Artes. He lived there for a year at the same time as John Coburn, and subsequently returned often, as Paris was an eternal source of inspiration.

His strong friendships with fellow artists led to field trips, sessions with models, cultural interchanges with poets, writers, musicians and worked with the ballet, doing set designs, i.e. Daisy Bates. After 27 years of marriage, Barbara Patterson Blackman and Charles Blackman divorced in 1978, largely because of his alcoholism. He married the young artist Genevieve de Couvreur, a 19-year-old friend of his children.[2] She divorced him and in 1989 he married a third wife, Victoria Bower, whom he also later divorced. He has six children, Auguste, Christabel, Barnaby, Beatrice, Felix and Axiom, most them artists and musicians in their own right.

Later life

The subject of ownership of Blackman's paintings has been a controversial issue, though his former wife Barbara maintained that her possession of some of them had been for the sake of preservation and that she intended to donate them to galleries.[3] This commitment may have been met by the donation of five works to the National Gallery of Australia in August 2010. In a statement published by the Canberra Times newspaper, Ms Blackman said that, "At Easter my house was flooded. No paintings were damaged but since then I have been giving paintings to public collections. I have no valuable Blackmans left in my collection...".[4]

Blackman has repeatedly expressed disdain for the concept of making money from or maintaining exclusive ownership of his paintings. His accountant and close friend, Tom Lowenstein, set up the Charles Blackman Trust to manage the painter's affairs. Lowenstein periodically sells off the works that Blackman still owns to ensure Blackman's expenses are taken care of.[5] Blackman suffers from dementia and lives a simple but happy life in his rented home in Sydney.[6] He meets with friends and fellow artists Judy Cassab and Marina Finlay twice a month to draw and have "passionate discussions" about art.[5]


He has won many prizes and distinctions, culminating in a major retrospective in 1993 and an OBE for services to Australian art in 1977. A portrait of Charles Blackman by Jon Molvig won the Archibald Prize in 1966. In August 2010, The Blackman Hotel opened in St Kilda Road, Melbourne. It features 670 digitally reproduced fine art prints by Charles Blackman.[7]

Ursula Dubosarsky's novel The Golden Day was directly inspired by Blackman's 1954 painting Floating Schoolgirl,[8] which is in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.[9]

See also

External links

  • The Blackman Hotel
  • Charles Blackman on Artabase
  • Street Scene 1960 Ballarat Fine Art Gallery.
  • Charles Blackman artwork at Chrysalis Publishing
  • Charles Blackman at Australian Art at the Wayback Machine (archived 23 July 2008)
  • Charles Blackman "Works from 1952–92" review by Grafico Topico's Sue Smith
  • Charles Blackman at Greenhill Galleries
  • Charles Blackman "Dreams and Shadows" on Amazon


  1. ^ The antipodean manifesto: essays in art and history, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1975
  2. ^ The Blackmans. ABC Confidential. Series 3 | Episode 6. ABC television,
  3. ^ Wilmoth, Peter (21 May 2006). "An artist in wonderland". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 30 March 2007. 
  4. ^ Streak, Diana (27 August 2010). "Blackman works donated to NGA". The Canberra Times (Canberra). 
  5. ^ a b "Blackman rediscovers artistic muse at 80". Retrieved 18 September 2008. 
  6. ^ The Blackmans. ABC Confidential. Series 3 | Episode 6. ABC television.
  7. ^ McCabe, Christine (22 September 2010). "Guests in Wonderland". The Australian. Retrieved 25 October 2010. 
  8. ^ retrieved 7 July 2012
  9. ^ retrieved 7 July 2012
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.