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Australian Artists Essay

  • Submitted by: heybubiloveyou
  • on March 18, 2012
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 2,762 words

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Artist’s Exploration of the Australian Landscape

Boababs and Termite Hills, Kimberleys, 1979. Gouache, 75x57cm

Boababs and Termite Hills, Kimberleys, 1979. Gouache, 75x57cm
The unique Australian landscape has been the subject of many Australian artists’ works over the years. However, each artist’s interpretation and representation of the landscape has been influenced by their practice and world. The typical “flat, dry and endless” Australian landscape depiction has been abandoned in recent times as modern and contemporary artists strive to express their views of the land in new ways.

Fred Williams is a modern Australian artist whose unique depictions of the Australian landscape defied the unity expressed in other modernist artists of the time. Born in Melbourne in 1927, Fred Williams was able to establish his own individual style of art. Influenced by post-impressionists, particularly Cézanne, Fred Williams became known for his ability to manipulate colour and line to indicate space between objects. Painting during a time when the Australian bush was considered to be a tired and old fashioned subject to paint, Williams was able to successfully respond to the Australian landscape through his innovative practice.  

Landscape with Rocks II, 1958. Oil on composition board, 114x91cm
Landscape with Rocks II, 1958. Oil on composition board, 114x91cm
In 1951, Fred Williams moved to London to discover European art, slowly developing his knowledge in etching and printing techniques. During this time, Fred Williams also established his method of reworking the same or similar motifs a number of times often in series in many different mediums- drawings, gouaches, etchings, lithographic prints, acrylics and oils- and often over a number of years in his artworks. When Williams returned to Australia he further developed his technique and style. Williams often referred back to his existing works to develop his ideas. This can be seen in the You Yangs series (painted...

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