We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


(Man with crutch)

circa 1953


Charles Blackman


12 Aug 1928 – 20 Aug 2018

Artist profile

  • Details

    circa 1953
    Media category
    Materials used
    charcoal on thin cream wove paper
    52.7 x 61.1 cm image; 68.9 x 86.7 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed lower c., blue ball-point pen "Blackman'. Not dated.

    Gift of Gwen Frolich 2002
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Charles Blackman/Copyright Agency

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    Artist information
    Charles Blackman

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Charles Blackman is best known as one of the modernist artists of significance to emerge in the post-war years in Melbourne, under the patronage of John and Sunday Reed. He has exhibited regularly since the early 1950s.

    For Charles Blackman, drawing is arguably his greatest strength. His schoolgirl drawings were the first consistent series of drawings he made, and were to a large part instrumental in establishing his career as a significant Australian artist.

    The unsolved murder of a school friend of Blackman's wife Barbara, was the spark for the 'Schoolgirl' series, begun in 1952 and further developed the following year. Figures, including those of schoolgirls, and in this case a crippled man, appear in desolate urban, industrial landscapes, and become for him a highly developed theme. The drawings have an eerie, surreal air 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, 2002

Other works by Charles Blackman

See all 53 works