Charles Blackman 'The Immigrants'

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Charles Blackman is one of the most beloved Australian artists. His works are pensive meditations on human condition couched in the visually disarming vocabulary of a dream-like state. Many of his works, especially those from the ‘Schoolgirls’ and ‘Alice’ series, have entered the Australian vernacular and are considered to be among the most iconic images of Australian art.

His works have been a subject of curated survey exhibitions and scholarly monographs, while his importance to the Australian cultural landscape has been recognised by representative holding of his works in all national and state galleries, and significant regional and tertiary collections.

‘The Immigrants’ was inspired by Charles Blackman’s friendship with French and Italian friends, both in Melbourne and Sydney, and his ongoing fascination with people who braved the long journey by ship to make a new life in Australia. The dunes and pyramids in the background are a reference the Suez Canal which many of the immigrants had to cross on their way to Australia prior to the wide-spread popularity and affordability of air travel. The detail of the mother and child in the left foreground, believed to be a portrait of the artist’s second wife, Genevieve, with their son, Felicien, is a universal image of motherhood and the artist’s reference to transcontinental journeys he undertook with his children.

The compositional complexity, detailed cross-hatchings, brevity of line, and the delicacy of the sepia-toned tinting demonstrate the artist’s proficiency of the print medium.

This rare print, produced by the artist with Crown Street Press, is a valuable addition to budding collectors and connoisseurs of Charles Blackman s works alike.
 

Charles BLACKMAN (1928 - 2018)
'The Immigrants' 1998
etching on paper
Edition of 50
Image Size: 30 x 45 cm
Paper Size: 56 x 76 cm
Signed: signed CHARLES BLACKMAN in margin THE IMMIGRANTS
Comes with a Letter of Provenance
Hard ground, soft ground and aquatint etching printed on 100% cotton French paper 300 grams

Condition: Excellent
© Charles Blackman / Copyright Agency 2022