Fred Williams is one of Australia’s greatest painters. He created a highly original and distinctive way of seeing the Australian landscape and was passionate about the painting process itself. This is the first major retrospective of Williams’ work in over 25 years. It highlights Williams’ strength as a painter including important large oil paintings and luminous gouaches to reveal his distinctive approach, often combining a feeling for place with a strong abstract emphasis.
Williams’ inspiration often emerged from the unique qualities of landscapes around Australia, from Upwey in Victoria to the Bass Strait in Tasmania and the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Although Williams is most often associated with dry environments, some of the surprises in the exhibition are the works that reveal his fascination with water – ponds, rivers, waterfalls and seascapes. The show uncovers other unexpected elements, such as portraits of his family and friends, and delicate studies in gouache of plants and animals.
There’s a busy program of events to go with it.
[Image detail above:
Beachscape, Erith Island / 1974
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Purchased from Gallery admission charges 1983
© Estate of Fred Williams]