Fred Williams at Philip Bacon Galleries, Melbourne | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Fred Williams at Philip Bacon Galleries, Melbourne

“Tangled kite II,” 1977 Fred Williams gouache and polymer paint on arches paper 57.5 x 76 cm
(Courtesy: Philip Bacon Galleries)

Philip Bacon Galleries is currently hosting a solo exhibition by Fred Williams.

The exhibition features a selection of paintings by the artist dating back from 1969 to 1980. Fred Williams was an Australian painter and printmaker. He was one of Australia’s most important artists, and one of the 20th century’s major landscape painters. He had more than 70 solo exhibitions during his career in Australian galleries, as well as an exhibition titled “Fred Williams — Landscapes of a Continent” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1977. Williams left school at 14 and was apprenticed to a firm of Melbourne shopfitters and box makers. From 1943 to 1947, he studied at the National Gallery School, Melbourne, at first part-time and then full-time from 1945 at the age of 18. The National Gallery School was traditional and academic, with a long and prestigious history. He also began taking lessons under George Bell, who had his own art school in Melbourne, the following year. Between 1951 and 1956, Williams studied part-time at the Chelsea School of Art, London (now Chelsea College of Art and Design) and in 1954, he completed an etching course at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. He lived in a South Kensington and subsidized his art practice by working part-time at Savage’s picture framers. Williams returned to Melbourne in 1956, when his family was able to send him a cheap ticket aboard a ship bringing visitors to the Melbourne Olympics.

He had work included in the “Recent Australian Painting” exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, and “Australian Painting: Colonial, Impressionism, Modern” at the Tate Gallery. Williams received a Helena Rubinstein Traveling Art Scholarship in 1963. In 1976, he was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and awarded a Doctorate of Law (Honoris Causa) by Monash University in 1980. Williams won the Wynne Prize for landscape painting twice; in 1966 with Upwey Landscape and in 1976 with Mt. Kosciusko. In September 2007, auction house Deutscher-Menzies broke its sales record with Williams’ “Landscape with Water Ponds,” 1965, selling for $1,860,000. The most expensive work sold at an Australian auction in 2009 was Williams’ “Evening Sky, Upwey,” which sold for $1.15 million.

The exhibition will be  on view through June 30, 2018, at Philip Bacon Galleries, 2 Arthur Street, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006, Australia.

For details visit:

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.                         

Founder: Louise Blouin