I can almost remember the exact moment when the landscapes of Fred Williams suddenly made perfect sense to me, having viewed them on countless occasions in the National Gallery of Victoria as a youngster, without quite knowing what to make of them. It was a lovely moment, and to this day his paintings are capable of making me almost smell and hear (as well as see) the landscapes they so tellingly describe.
This is the catalogue to the major retrospective of Williams’ work currently on show at the NGV, and a definite must see! Concentrating mainly on the landscape paintings this book charts his progress from the 1940s onwards, and clearly demonstrates his ever deepening affinity with the land. The seascapes, which were certainly less familiar to me, are breathtaking!
No surprise that two of Australia’s pre-eminent state and national gallery directors chose to write major works on Fred Williams, and both of these volumes remain indispensable for an examiniation of the artist’s life and, more importantly, an appreciation of the work itself. James Mollison’s volume, A singular vision: the art of Fred Williams, has been out of print for far too long, which is why libraries are invaluable!
Not content at painting his way into the Australian consciousness, Williams was also a master etcher/printmaker and these two books provide a wonderful survey of his works-on-paper, including many of the terrific drawings and prints he made of the London music-halls during the 1950s.
Fred Williams : from music hall to landscape, drawings and prints, selected and compiled by Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan
Two paintings donated to the State Library’s Picture Collection by Lyn Williams