Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Charles Blackman

Charles Raymond Blackman (1928 –2018) was an Australian painter. He was a member of the Antipodeans, a group of Melbourne painters. He was married for 27 years to author, essayist, poet, librettist and patron of the arts Barbara Blackman.
Blackman left school at 13 and worked as an illustrator with The Sun newspaper while attending night classes at East Sydney Technical College though was principally self-taught. He was later awarded an honorary doctorate.
He came to notice following his move to Melbourne in the mid-1940s. His work met critical acclaim through his early Schoolgirl and Alice series, the latter Blackman's conception of Lewis Carroll's most famous character. For some time while painting the Alice series, Blackman worked as a cook at a café run by art dealer Georges Mora and his wife, fellow artist Mirka Mora.
Blackman's own work is associated with dreamlike images tinged with mystery and foreboding. In 1960 he and his family lived in London after Blackman won a Helena Rubenstein travelling scholarship, settling in Sydney upon his return five and a half years later.
After 27 years of marriage, Blackman divorced his wife Barbara in 1978, largely because of his alcoholism. He married the young artist Genevieve de Couvreur, a 19-year-old friend of his children. She divorced him after eight years, as his alcoholism grew deeper, and in 1989 he married a third wife, Victoria Bower, whom he also later divorced. He had six children, Auguste, Christabel, Barnaby, Beatrice, Felix and Axiom, most of them artists and musicians.
On 20 August 2018, a week after his 90th birthday, he died in the aged care facility he moved into earlier that year.

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