Charles Blackman: Schoolgirls

Charles Blackman’s compelling Schoolgirls series, produced between 1952 and 1955, marked a turning point in the artist’s career, sealing his reputation as a significant painter of modern life in the post-war era.

Art Exhibition previously on at Heide Museum of Modern Art in Victoria, Australia.
From Saturday 04 March 2017 to Sunday 18 June 2017

Charles Blackman: Schoolgirls image

Published by anonymous on Monday 07 November 2016.
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Through his evocative depictions of uniformed, often solitary schoolgirls in urban settings pervaded by menacing undertones, Blackman explored the themes of alienation, vulnerability and innocence under threat. He derived inspiration from a range of sources, including an unsolved murder, the lyrical poetry of John Shaw Nielson, surrealist illustrations by French Symbolist painter Odilon Redon, and direct observations of children interacting in the city streets. Painted in tempera, enamel and oil on board the Schoolgirl images are rich in psychological power. After they were first exhibited at Peter Bray Gallery, Melbourne in 1953, Heide founders John and Sunday acquired several examples, reinforcing their position as the first major collectors of Blackman’s work.

Today the Schoolgirls are dispersed across public and private collections in Australia and abroad. This exhibition reunites more than forty major paintings for the first time, including key works that immediately preceded and followed the series, and displays them alongside related drawings, prints, rare three dimensional pieces and original archival material from Heide’s extensive Charles Blackman papers.