Fred Williams — 1974

Saturday, 2 December, 2017 to Sunday, 11 February, 2018

Fred Williams
Lilydale Triptych I 1974
oil on canvas
overall: 105 x 272.5 cm
Gift of Eva Besen AO and Marc Besen AO
Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program 2008,
TarraWarra Museum of Art collection

Fred Williams’ depiction of the Australian landscape encompasses both the broad perspective of the panoramic vista and intimate observations of the natural world. In the early 1970s Williams broke with his traditional working method of painting gouaches when working outdoors, trialling a new method of painting oil sketches en plein air. During numerous field trips to locations all around Melbourne, his acute observations were translated directly onto canvas with a great spontaneity and immediacy. At the same time Williams was exploring a new colour palette. Beginning with the large scale work Lilydale Triptych I (1974) in the TarraWarra Museum of Art collection, this exhibition includes several paintings from 1974, a year in which these new approaches coalesced and found full expression. Shown together, these works highlight an important shift in Williams’ direction and capture a dynamic and adventurous period of transition in his ongoing project to apprehend the unique, atmospheric and experiential qualities of the Australian landscape.