Australia 1927 – Australia 1982
Landscape with bent tree
watercolour, gouache, brush and black ink on wove paper
signed lower right corner, black ink: 'Fred Williams'. not dated.
sheet 38.0 (h) x 42.0 (w) cm
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Purchased under the terms of the Florence Turner Blake Bequest 1980
© estate of Fred Williams
Fallen tree 1962 and Landscape with bent tree c.#1959 are two of Williams’s most significant gouaches. They incorporate the geometry of a curved and diagonal line, foreshadowing his experimentation with daring geometric devices in compositions throughout his artistic career.
As a student Williams regularly studied works of art in the National Gallery of Victoria’s collection like Camille Corot’s he bent tree [L’arbre penché] c.#1855–1860. This well known painting, along with some remarkable photographs of trees that Williams took in Sherbrooke forest, most likely informed these striking, elemental gouaches.