In a moment of serendipity, Angela Tandori Fine Art has available for you a small number of rare, high-quality Charles Blackman graphics. As collector’s items, these graphics are formidable. As snapshots into Blackman’s life and mind - they also stand apart. The subject matter may be diverse, yet as clear as rain Blackman’s voice courses throughout.
The graphic medium is dear to Blackman. First and foremost a drawer, Blackman discovered a kinship with printing after falling ill in the 1970s. Bedridden, he was able to whittle away at plates. As soon as he recovered, Blackman built himself a complete, comprehensive print workshop.
Enthralled by printing, Blackman set out transcribing some of his favourite things - Paris, gardens, cats and stories. In our collection, these ideas appear as pure as spring sunlight. In My Mother’s Garden, a girl plays secretively in her garden, while in Cat and Insects Blackman crouches low with a cat as it ambles after butterflies.
Several other works see Blackman as we know him best - a storyteller. The Fire Won’t Burn Stick, Stick Won’t Beat Dog and Hickory Dickory Dock - both represented in the National Gallery of Australia collections take inspiration from well-known fairytales. Under Blackman however, something painfully real is bared. Only through a man very serious about them, do these tales become more than they seem.
These fifteen graphics have excellent provenance. They are rare and engaging. Blackman weaves together what is warm and familiar - mothers in the garden, frollicking cats and fairytales with poigancy. His secret? “You just illustrate them with magic”.