Charles Blackman: Biography

Charles Blackman was born in Sydney, in 1928.

In 1951, he married his first great muse Barbara Blackman (nee Patterson). His second creative connection came the year after, when he befriended a troupe of vanguard artists including Arthur Boyd, Sidney Nolan and Joy Hester. Simultaneously, Blackman was invited under the wing of prominent patrons John and Sunday Reed. In 1953, he co-founded the Contemporary Artists Society and with seven other artists, authored the 'Antipodean Manifesto'. These moments would later prove vital to Australian modernism.

Throughout this period, Blackman also exhibited his renowned ‘Schoolgirl’ and ‘Alice’ series. Through these works - the former inspired by a tragic murder, the latter an intimate reimagination of Alice in Wonderland, Blackman cemented himself as an artist apart from the crowd.  

Since then, Blackman has steadily built his career. With national and international recognition, he is represented in all states and most regional public galleries, as well as numerous private collections. In 1977, he was awarded an OBE for his services to art and to this day, continues to be exhibited throughout Australia. Acquired from his friends, family and foundation our collection celebrates an artist who still has Australia’s heart.

In 2018, at age 90 Blackman passed away.