Blackman auction a rare chance for art lovers

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 28th March, 2014

The Charles Blackman Fundraising Auction presents art lovers with a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy one of the iconic artist’s works at prices not likely to be seen again for a long time.

The auction, from 2.30pm Tuesday April 1 at Mossgreen 926-930 High Street Armadale, comprises the bulk of Charles Blackman’s drawings, paintings and editions now left in his studio.

The collection is being auctioned to help pay for the round-the-clock carers the 86-year-old artist now requires for health reasons.

A household name and one of Australia’s leading modern artists, Charles Blackman spent his formative years observing and drawing life on Sydney Harbour.

Training as a copy boy and art cadet in newspaper offices, during the late 1940s he wandered between Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in search of new directions.

These experiences later surfaced in images embracing an existential viewpoint focussing on the individual in an alien society.

Blackman’s friendship with fellow artists John and Sunday Reed, Georges and Mirka Mora, Barrett, Reid, Judith Wright, Jack McKinney, Joy Hester, John Perceval, Sidney Nolan and Arthur Boyd inspired his imagery.

However, his greatest inspiration came from his first wife Barbara – whose blindness led him to explore through imagery the subject matter many times over in search of a better understanding.

The 1950s were important formative years in Charles Blackman’s career with the creation of autobiographical and psychologically evocative imagery centred on themes of childhood, femininity, alienation, fear and blindness.

He encapsulated his isolation and introspection through the formulation of his schoolgirl images, which were to become uniquely his.

In 1953, Charles Blackman had his first solo exhibition and seven years later won the acclaimed Helena Rubenstein travelling art scholarship to England that launched his international career.

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