Fred WILLIAMS | Silver and grey

Australia 1927 – Australia 1982
England 1951-56

Silver and grey 1969
oil on canvas
signed l.r., in oil: 'Fred Williams'
137.2 (h) x 152.3 (w) cm
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide Acquired 1992
© estate of Fred Williams


Williams’s Silver and grey series are among his most impressive from the late 1960s. Silver and grey highlights the exquisite balance he developed between spaciousness and expressive gesture, between abstraction and a recognisable evocation of the landscape.

Rather than making reference to particular landscape, Silver and grey was painted in the studio from Williams’s memory and imagination, fusing elements of his earlier You Yangs and Lysterfield series. The space is animated by textured calligraphy that in part suggests the charred ground still recovering from fires. However, in contrast to the black bushfire paintings of the previous year, this painting with its creamy-white ground shimmers with light.

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