Charles Blackman’s schoolgirls stand among his most iconic subjects. Conceived in the early 1950s, this series - of which ‘The Shadow’ derives - charts an entanglement of themes both personal and public. From one perspective, it presents a juxtaposition of innocence and threat – a lingering effect of war and encroaching modernism. From another perspective, these children embody Blackman’s experience of alienation as a young man new to Melbourne.
‘There Was’ is utterly engrossing. In a muted palette, Blackman draws a Schoolgirl reading at night, a flower clasped in her hand. In the background, a clock tower looms. According to art history convention, flowers symbolise the fleetingness of life – a theme reiterated by the clocktower which relentlessly ticks onwards. This work is an evocation of temporality and the transience of youth, as poetic as it is stylish.
Blackman’s Schoolgirls gave image to mythologies of adolescence, the desolate suburban sprawl, as well as the unsolved murder of a school friend of Blackman’s first wife. They were also an instrument of catharsis that still now recognise the pain of coming of age.
For serious collectors of Blackman and Modern art, There Was is a miracle. It is hand-signed, framed and presented with title and introduction pages in solander boxes hand-made by Wayne Stock. From a deceased estate and sold out edition run, there is only one impression available – so if this work catches your eye, act now.
Charles BLACKMAN (1928 - 2018)
'There Was' ca. 1989
Silkscreen print on paper
Edition of 75
Image Size: 57 x 78 cm
Dimensions: 93 x 115 x 3 cm
Signed: Signed, titled, and editioned by the artist in pencil in margin below image.
Comes with Letter of Provenance
From ‘Blackman Schoolgirls’, a suite of five silkscreen prints, limited to an edition of 75; conceived and published by Nadine Amadio and Charles Blackman; printed by Michelle Perry at Marling Press (Sydney); a presented originally with a title and introduction pages in solander boxes hand-made by Wayne Stock.
Availability: in stock
Condition:Very Good: Describes a work of art’s image As New, but may show some small signs of surrounding wear. There are no tears to paper margin or disruption to paint surface. Image is in Fine condition.
© The Artist or Assignee