Charles Blackman 'Hand and leaf'

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In Charles Blackman’s ‘Hand and Leaf’, a hand reaches through emerald mist to a sprout. The moment is mystical, alive with curiosity, wonder and discovery. It was created with cut-outs and an airbrush, an experimental technique that lingers between printmaking and painting.

Blackman’s airbrush cut-outs are relatively rare yet historically interesting, with representation at the National Gallery of Australia and the British Museum. In Stephen Coppel’s book ‘Out of Australia’, he suggests that the artist first encountered cut-outs working for the ‘Sun’ newspaper in the 1940s. In the early 1960s, he began creating them for his children to use as mobiles and in 1969, engaged cut-outs again to approach sculpture.

For Blackman, cut-outs served technical and aesthetic ends. He was taken by silhouettes and shadows – motifs that recall memory, disconnection and mystery. By casting shapes against a haze of paint, Blackman untethered his imagery from a specific time or place. These configurations became wisps of feeling, dreams hovering at the lip of consciousness.

Dated circa 1965, ‘Hand and Leaf’ comes from Blackman’s archives and is accompanied by the Certificate of Authenticity from The Charles Blackman Foundation. It is a work of art historical and aesthetic richness, reminiscent of Japanese imagery, Blackman’s lush gardens and his desire to experiment and connect. Collectors of Blackman, reach out before ‘Hand and Leaf’ is taken.

Charles BLACKMAN (1928 - 2018)
'Hand and leaf' circa 1965
spray paint on paper
Image Size: 52 x 41 cm
Signed: Signed lower left 'BLACKMAN'
Comes with Letter of Provenance and Certificate of Authenticity from the Charles Blackman Foundation
Condition: Good: Describes the average used work of art, where the image is in good condition. The margin may need to be framed out due to markings, corner wear, dog ear, small tears or if framed, the frame may have minor damage
© Charles Blackman / Copyright Agency 2023