Fred WILLIAMS | John Brack

Australia 1927 – Australia 1982
England 1951-56

John Brack 1978-79
oil on canvas
signed upper left
151.8 (h) x 120.8 (w) cm
Private collection
© estate of Fred Williams


Fred Williams and John Brack met as students at the National Gallery School and became firm friends. Both were passionately interested in the history of art, in exhibitions and museums. Both were extraordinarily driven in their own art practice. While Williams made a reputation as a landscape artist, Brack is best known for his depictions of the human figure. The two showed their work together at an exhibition in Albert Hall in Canberra in 1967. 

John Brack is of Williams’s most impressive portraits. It is the kind of portrait that is only possible after years of knowing a person. Williams portrays a complex personality. Brack’s expression is intense, guarded and introspective, but also grounded and confident. Williams used the dark tonalities of the background to draw attention to Brack’s face.

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