Important Australian + International Fine Art
26 August 2009

Fred Williams

(1927 - 1982)

gouache on paper

57.5 x 76.5 cm

signed lower right: Fred Williams

$40,000 - 60,000
Sold for $43,200 (inc. BP) in Auction 10 - 26 August 2009, Melbourne

Rudy Komon Gallery, Sydney
Private collection, Queensland

Catalogue text

'Williams became increasingly interested in painting the sea, and although there were occasional sea pictures during 1969-70, other more pressing tasks prevented him settling to the subject in a systematic way. But in January 1971 he worked intensively on sea pictures at four different sites - Westernport Bay, Sorrento, Queenscliff and Walkerville at Waratah Bay. They brought together the idea of seascapes and their appropriate form. Williams was now deeply entrenched in the strip format for his gouaches and the long thin panels were particularly suited to depicting shoreline, headland and beachscape.'1

Williams visited Queensland in mid 1971 and again twice in 1973. Much of the first visit was spent at Springbrook, on a property owned by Albert Tucker, with his work there revealing the exotic character and colour of the local wilderness. The final visit in 1973 was mainly spent on the tropical Islands of Bedarra and Timara, close to Dunk Island in the Family Group of Islands. The Queensland marine gouaches from this period show a remarkable observation of calm atmosphere, restrained colour and minimalist subject in contrast to the richly decorated and colourful works from the earlier 1971 visit to Springbrook.

1. McCaughey, P., Fred Williams, Bay Books, Sydney, 1980, p. 230