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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Fred Williams

1969
David Moore

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 50.5 cm x 40.8 cm, image: 40.5 cm x 26.0 cm)

Fred Williams OBE (1927-1982), painter and etcher, was one of the most important Australian artists of the twentieth century. His unique landscape vision emerged in the late 1950s, after his return from a period of study and work in London. The 1960s saw an increasing minimalism in his paintings, which reached its most extreme point at the end of the decade. In the monumental works of 1969, the year this photograph was taken, he attempted to evoke the vast scale of the Australian land through canvases of a single colour dotted with tiny flecks of paint. Although Williams later turned to representation of denser, more colourful country, his severe and sparse pictures of the 1960s contributed profoundly to subsequent interpretation of the Australian landscape.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999
© Lisa, Michael, Matthew and Joshua Moore
http://davidmoorephotography.com.au/

Artist and subject

David Moore (age 42 in 1969)

Fred Williams (age 42 in 1969)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Painting mates

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2011

Michael Desmond discusses Fred Williams' portraits of friends, artist Clifton Pugh, David Aspden and writer Stephen Murray-Smith, and the stylistic connections between his portraits and landscapes.

A Captured Moment

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2001

The acquisition of David Moore's archive of portrait photographs for the National Portrait Gallery's collection.

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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency