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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.

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Fred Williams

1980
Andrew Sibley

pencil and watercolour on paper (sheet: 54.0 cm x 43.5 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
Gift of the artist 2002
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Andrew Sibley/Copyright Agency, 2022

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Andrew Sibley (age 47 in 1980)

Fred Williams (age 53 in 1980)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Andrew Sibley (16 portraits)

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency