Important Australian + International Fine Art
25 November 2009

Fred Williams

(1927 - 1982)

gouache on paper

55.0 x 74.5 cm

signed lower left: Fred Williams

$38,000 - 48,000
Sold for $45,600 (inc. BP) in Auction 12 - 25 November 2009, Melbourne

Fischer Fine Art, London (label attached verso)
The Australian Gas Light Company Collection, Sydney
Deutscher~Menzies, Sydney, 15 June 2005, lot 49
Private collection, Sydney


Fred Williams 1969 – 1979 (Oeuvres), Australian Embassy, Paris, 1980, cat. 33
Fred Williams Landscapes 1969 – 1979, Fischer Fine Art, London, 1980, cat. 33

Catalogue text

'The Weipa series, and the Cape York Bushfire works, were painted on Williams's return trip to Queensland in October - November 1977 as a guest of Comalco, one of the sponsors of Fred Williams's exhibition at the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane. The earlier trips in mid-1971 and in 1973 provided Williams with an expanded colour palette of rich purples and greens to capture the exotic rain forest and tropical vegetation, and colour is the main feature of all his Queensland works.

The Weipa works fall into two main categories, those of the landscape where the tropical vegetation meets the shoreline and closer more intimate studies of specific types of vegetations...'1

In Cape York Landscape, the work on offer, Williams used his now characteristic form of the 'strip picture', a compositional device employed by the artist to exaggerate the physical characteristics of the painted object while somewhat removing the landscape subject from a literal comparison. Seen by the artist as a highly representative example of the Weipa Series, Cape York Landscape was selected for inclusion in the exhibition, Fred Williams 1969 "-1979 (Oevres) which opened in 1980 at the Australian Embassy in Paris and toured France's Bordeaux region before travelling to London for exhibition at Fischer Fine Art, re-titled, Fred Williams - Landscapes 1969 - 1979.

1. Lindsay R., & Zdanowicz, I., Fred Williams: Works in the National Gallery of Victoria, Paintings - Gouaches - Prints, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1980, p. 60