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Charles Blackman (1928-2018)

Artist, Painter & Sculptor

curriculum vitae

1928 Born Sydney, Australia
1943-46 Studied East Sydney Technical College
1945-60 Lived and painted in Melbourne
1950s Painted Schoolgirl series, followed by Alice in Wonderland series
1960-64 Travelled and studied overseas after winning Helena Rubinstein Scholarship
Lived and painted in London, exhibited at Whitechapel and Tate Galleries
1965 Tour of northern France and Flanders
1966-74 Lived and painted in Sydney
1975 Occupied Australian Studio, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris
1976-2001 Lived and painted in NSW, Queensland, WA
Lived in Sydney until his passing in August of 2018

solo exhibitions

1953-93 Numerous solo exhibitions in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, London and Tokyo, including a major retrospective at the National Gallery of Victoria, 1993 – Charles Blackman: Schoolgirls and Angels

awards

1997 OBE
1963 Georges Invitation Art Prize, Georges Gallery Melbourne (one painting and one drawing)
1960 Helena Rubinstein Scholarship, Melbourne
1960 George Crouch Prize, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery
1960 Wins prize. A. Shore, The Age (February)
1958 George Crouch Prize, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery
1958 Rowney Prize, Richmond Gallery Melbourne

collections

National Gallery of Australia, and all state galleries
Numerous regional galleries and university collections

selected bibliography

1993 Charles Blackman: Schoolgirls and Angels, catalogue for retrospective at National Gallery Victoria
1989 Shapcott, T., The Art of Charles Blackman, Andre Deutche, London
1983 Amadio, N., Orpheus the Song of Forever, Craftsman Press, Sydney
1982 Amadio, N., Charles Blackman’s Paris Dreaming, A.H. & A.W. Reed, Sydney
1980 Amadio, N., Charles Blackman: The Lost Domain, A.H. & A.W. Reed. Sydney
1967 Shapcott, T., Focus on Charles Blackman, University of Queensland Press, Brisbane
1965 Mathew, R., Charles Blackman – Monograph, Georgian House, Melbourne

 

 

biography

In 1960 Blackman was the recipient of the prestigious Helena Rubenstein scholarship which took the Blackman family to London and saw the birth of their son Barnaby in 1963. Great friendships with fellow expats were solidified with the likes of Barry Humphries, godfather to son Barnaby, as well as Brett Whitely and many more. He was exhibited widely including a group show at The Whitechapel Gallery. He was set for a solo show at Whitechapel, which due to unforeseen circumstances, purportedly protest from Hockney at the lack of support for London artists, it was cancelled at the last moment. Nonetheless a major body of work was produced during his six years in London and he received significant critical accolades across media platforms upon returning home to Sydney in 1966.  That same year a portrait of Charles Blackman by long-time friend artist Jon Molvig won the Archibald Prize.

Just 4 years after returning home the Blackman family set sail for Paris after Charles was awarded a scholarship from the Cité des Arts for an atelier and stipend. During this time he again encountered fellow Australian expats including John Coburn. Blackman drew feverishly in Paris cafes and in the streets, fascinated by the cosmopolitan cafe lifestyle so different from foggy London and young Australia. Paris became a source of eternal inspiration for Blackman and he returned often.

In 1977 Blackman was awarded an Order of the British Empire for his great contribution to art and culture in both the UK and Australia.