Fred WILLIAMS | Beachscape with bathers, Queenscliff I

Australia 1927 – Australia 1982
England 1951-56

Beachscape with bathers, Queenscliff I 1971
Signed verso lower right in black ink "Fred Williams". Not dated. Not titled
image, overall 59.2 (h) x 79.2 (w) cm
Purchased from Gallery admission charges 1983
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
NGA 1983.2989.77
© estate of Fred Williams


These Queenscliff gouaches are among Williams’s most minimal and memorable paintings. They are masterpieces of understatement and distillation. While he was interested in the changing effects of light through the day, he didn’t aim for a literal reading of the strips but varied their sequence within each gouache. He painted these works with such sensitivity and naturalness that they almost appear to have been breathed onto the surface of the paper.

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