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Butterflies are recurrent motifs in Charles Blackman’s work. They flutter through his gardens, streets and Wonderland, winking at the idea of transformation. Indeed, butterflies - evolving from lowly caterpillars into flight - are a utopian ideal made real. It is true that our identity is in constant movement, and our hope that it will follow the butterfly.
In this exceptionally rare work, Charles Blackman uses the butterfly to “express the general by the particular… [and make] the particular express the general”. It comes from a series of etchings, perhaps created in preparation for his series ‘Alice’s Book of Butterflies’. Each imagining of the butterfly is different. In the idiosyncrasies of their wings, Blackman finds the dualities of the universe – something can be fragile and adaptable, mundane and magical, real and make-believe. Here the butterfly takes on the cadence of another of Blackmans favourite subjects, the cat.
The butterfly has many symbolic connotations: hope, transformation, purity, life and death. The seventeenth-century Dutch naturalist Jan Swannerdam argued that their life stages were emblematic of life, purgatory and resurrection. In their beauty, is the nascent threat of death. Here, turned into an eternal form, we can contend with this idea before it flutters into the night.
For collectors of Modern art and Blackman collect this butterfly before it flutters away. It is rare and hand-signed by the artist himself, offering a peripheral view into his famed Alice in Wonderland series. We suggest catching a few, there’s only one of each in this menagerie. Charles BLACKMAN (1928 - 2018)'Butterfly Web' c. 1985Etching and aquatint on paperImage Size: 13 x 17 cm Dimensions: 56 x 38 cm Signed: Signed Blackman lower right. Bears Blackman insignia bottom margin.Comes with Letter of ProvenanceAvailability: in stockCondition: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.© Charles Blackman / Copyright Agency 2022
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At Angela Tandori Fine Art, we offer specialist advice for custom framing. Local clients are welcome to consult with us at our Hawthorn workshop. Alternatively, we also offer online consultation for clients who are busy, located outside of Melbourne or both. To find out more, please message us.
At Angela Tandori Fine Art, we want to empower Confident Collectors. We know that starting an art collection can be daunting - markets fluctuate, trends waver and theories permeate. Our best advice? Start with art that speaks to you. Whether you're drawn to art for its audacity, power or narrative, discovering what you love is exciting. And to ease the process, we're here to help with advice, services and consultation. Start your own art collection today and tell your story.
Since 2001, Angela Tandori Fine Art has been connecting people across the world with art they love. With a focus on Modern and Contemporary collectable Australian art, we offer a platform where first-time, as well as established collectors can discover art with confidence. Always available online - we are professional so you can be passionate.
Our director, Angela Tandori is a second generation art dealer who begun working in the industry in 1998. Armed with vast experience in auctioning, valuing, exhibiting and consulting in Australian art, Angela has honed her vision for the modern collector. She holds a certificate in Auction & Valuation practice and is a member of the Art Consulting Association of Australia and an associate member of the Auctioneers and Valuers Association of Australia. Plus, she’s an avid art collector herself!
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