Charles Blackman 'Through the Looking Glass'

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From the 1950s, Charles Blackman began experimenting with a different kind of composition. Rather than a single image, he split the field into vignettes or “window thoughts”. These smaller images would relate to one another, serving as postcards from the artist to the viewer. 

This intimate aspect carries into ‘Through the Looking Glass’, an original screenprint that invites us into a new world. Blackman distills Lewis Caroll’s story in ten windows, transforming it into something operatic. Scale undulates - in one frame Alice is cramped, in another she stands like a reed. The white rabbit climbs through a shrinking tunnel and the dormouse slumbers in a tea cup.  

Blackman’s interest in Alice in Wonderland is based in emotion. He recognised a commonality between his former wife Barbara Blackman’s blindness and Alice’s tumble through Wonderland. Indeed, there is something disorientating about ‘Alice’s Through the Looking Glass’. Even the concept of a window or mirror speaks to this dual resonance. Ciphers you look through, these mediums can be strangely distortionist or isolating, keeping you at bay from the world beyond. 

Blackman stands among Australia’s most beloved and collectable artists. With a career as distinct as it is diverse, his work is acclaimed for its deep understanding of the human condition. His experimentation with vignettes helped him win the Helena Rubinstein Art Prize, a moment that irrevocably changed his career. 

For collectors of prints, Blackman and his Alice in Wonderland adventures, this collectible work will awe. 


Charles BLACKMAN (1928 - 2018)
'Through the Looking Glass' 1990
screenprint on paper
Edition of 80
Image Size: 90 x 61 cm
Dimensions: 120 x 85 x 4 cm framed
Signed: signed, titled and numbered in margin
Comes with Letter of Provenance

© Charles Blackman / Copyright Agency 2024