Charles Blackman

Click here to view a Biography of this artist.

BORN 1928 Sydney, Australia
DIED 2018 Sydney, Australia


Self-taught, attended night classes in drawing and design at the East Sydney Technical College from 1942-45 under Hayward Veal


Charles Blackman is a major figure in Australian art of the post-war years. His haunting and enchanting images of women and girls, absorbed in daydreams or games have an enduring appeal. Two significant themes in his work have been the Schoolgirl and Alice in Wonderland. Deep shadows and the accentuation of his figure’s eyes occur throughout Blackman’s works with a pervasive sense of melancholy.

Charles Blackman was largely self-taught, but he attended night classes in drawing and design at the East Sydney Technical College from 1942-45 under Hayward Veal. Blackman was a co-founder of the Melbourne Contemporary Art Society in 1953 and was one of seven Antipodeans responsible for the Antipodean Manifesto – a reaction against what they saw as the meteoric rise of abstract expressionism and non-figurative art in Australia and its intolerance of figurative painting. He has exhibited frequently since and is known for his facility in drawing.

In 1951 Blackman married a poet, Barbara Patterson, who was to become a lasting presence in his work. His work is held in all Australian state and most regional galleries, institutional and private collections

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    Traveled and studied overseas after winning Helena Rubinstein Scholarship
1960-64    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


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


1997    OBE
1963    Georges Invitation Art Prize, Georges Gallery Melbourne (one painting and one drawing)
1960    Helena Rubinstein Scholarship, Melbourne
1960    Dyeson Endowment
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
1958    Collections

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


1993 Charles Blackman: Schoolgirls and Angels, catalogue for retrospective at National Gallery Victoria
1989 Shapcott, T., The Art of Charles Blackman, Andre Deutch, 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

Click here to view Exhibitions featuring this artist.

The Great Print Revival TVH Exhibition 2014

TVH Gallery is proud to be teaming up with Berkeley Editions to bring to collectors a premiere exhibition from the Berkeley collection including Arthur Boyd, Margaret Olley, David Boyd, Martin … read more →