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Collection

An image of Trio by Charles Blackman

Charles Blackman

(Australia 12 Aug 1928 – )

Title
Trio
Other titles:
(Three schoolgirls)
Year
1954
Media category
Drawing
Materials used
charcoal on thin cream wove paper
Dimensions

52.7 x 61.0 cm image; 68.8 x 86.3 cm sheet

Signature & date
Signed and dated in image l.r., blue ball-point pen "BLACKMAN 54".
Credit
Gift of Gwen Frolich 2003
Accession number
87.2003
Copyright
© Charles Blackman. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Location
Not on display
Further information

Charles Blackman is best known as one of the Antipodean modernist artists to emerge in the post-war years in Melbourne, largely under the patronage of John and Sunday Reed.

Blackman is also arguably one of Australian art’s finest draughtsmen. His schoolgirl drawings were the first consistent series of drawings he made, and were to a large part instrumental in establishing his reputation as a major Australian artist.

The unsolved murder of a school friend of Blackman's first wife Barbara, was the spark for the 'Schoolgirl' series, begun in 1952 and further developed the following year. Figures, including schoolgirls, appear in desolate urban or industrial landscapes. The drawings have an eerie, surreality about them, complete with a sense of impending danger or menace.

Blackman concentrated on making these drawings for a period of about eight months and he described them as '... the first complete works of art I ever did' (Thomas Shapcott, 'The art of Charles Blackman', London: André Deutsch, 1989 p.11). They have come to epitomize the best of his work.

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2003

Bibliography (2)

Laura Pia, Look, 'Blackman at the gallery: Are the drawings his greatest achievement?', pg. 23-27, Newtown, May 2008, 27 (colour illus.).

Thomas Shapcott, The art of Charles Blackman, London, 1989, (illus.). no. 26