Charles Blackman 'Floating Schoolgirl'

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Charles Blackman’s schoolgirls stand among his most iconic subjects. Conceived in the early 1950s, this series – of which ‘Floating Schoolgirl’ derives – charts an entanglement of themes both personal and societal. The work presents a juxtaposition of innocence and threat – a lingering effect of war and encroaching modernism, as well as Blackman’s experience of alienation as a young man new to Melbourne.

‘Floating Schoolgirl’ is intriguing. In blues and blacks, Blackman draws a Schoolgirl falling through space, a clock looming in the background. Despite the abstraction of gravity, time relentlessly ticks forth. In this noirish dreamscape, youth feels fickle – what happens when midnight strikes?

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.

Printed as part of a portfolio of five prints, published by Nadine Armadio for Blackman’s seventieth birthday. Hand-signed and visually striking, ‘Floating Schoolgirl’ is an engrossing find for collectors of Blackman.

Charles BLACKMAN (1928 - 2018)
'Floating Schoolgirl' 1998
screenprint on paper
Edition of 70
Image Size: 60 x 80 cm
Dimensions: 75 x 106 cm
Signed: Signed Blackman lower right
Comes with Letter of Provenance
From A Celebration For His Seventieth Birthday suite of five screenprints case. The portfolio was conceived and published by Nadine Amadio, together with Charles Blackman, as a celebration of his 70th birthday and an homage to his lifetime in Australian art.
An impression of this work is represented at Heide Museum of Modern Art, accession no.: 1998.2.2
The paper is VELIN ARCHES, 270 GSM, 105 x 75cm.
Condition: Excellent
© Charles Blackman / Copyright Agency 2023