Detail photos for this Artwork
This lushly coloured nude by eminent artist Charles Blackman was created most likely in the 1970’s when Charles Blackman produced most of his paintings of nudes.
Blackman was a prolific and talented drawer. As a young emerging artist in Sydney in the 1940’s he learned and taught himself to draw, creating sketches whenever he could and replicating whoever “was within visual reach”. With his sketchbooks he drew on the ferries and beaches, and in parks and streets, anywhere there were people. But mainly he drew during his life-classes at the Society of Realist Art, known as the “Tech”.
Funnily enough, Blackman recalls from that early time that the drawing studio at the Tech was furnished with plush old worn furniture, including a rosy coloured velvet chaise lounge, so perhaps “Nude in Red” is a recollection of the nudes from decades earlier that modelled on the old chaise lounge during his life drawing classes.
Blackman’s early years of drawing and at life-class were an important grounding of training, giving him the skill and confidence later in his career to depict anatomy in a way that conveyed human emotions. He recalls his association with nude drawing and painting: “I drew from the nude before I could paint from ‘within myself’. It as a discipline of the eye and the hand. I never drew from the nude again until 1972 when I returned from Paris more than 20 years later. Mine were memory images like Daumier, who would turn his back and draw.”
Blackman also spoke of the solitary nature of being an artist: “A painter works so much of the time by himself. Sometimes he longs for the presence of another human being involved in his work. A model is a classic form of relaxation. It takes your eyes from the inner world and then turns them outward. Your eyes are being poetic.
“There is a joy in painting the nude model. The human body is totally wonderful and it strikes the imagination. most of the nudes I do now are not ‘topographical’ nudes, they are spirit nudes. They have been romanticised.”
“Nude in Red” is a beautiful piece that provides a sense of tranquility from the slumbering nude, and dramatic beauty from the vibrant colour of the red. This large-scale work would make a stunning statement in a bedroom, or create a magnificent focal point in a contemporary space. Large works by Blackman in this gorgeous red colouring are rare.