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From Music Hall to Landscape
Since 1963, the Art Gallery of New South Wales has been steadily developing a collection of drawings and prints by Fred Williams, one of the finest artists of the Australian landscape in the twentieth century.

As a printmaker, Fred Williams was unsurpassed among his contemporaries and his technical mastery over the medium is fully complemented by the heights to which his imagery reached. His drawings are a powerful expression of Williamsí response to his subjects and translation of them into art.

From Music Hall to Landscape: Fred Williams drawings and prints has been shaped by the collection of Williamsí drawings and prints in this Gallery. Supplemented by works from the artistís estate, it presents a diverse selection that enhances our appreciation of Williamsí skills as a printmaker and draughtsman. These works, less well known to the public than his paintings, explore this aspect of his oeuvre.

The 91 works span the years 1953 to 1978 and reveal principal themes in Fred Williamsí oeuvre, from his early London Music Hall subjects, to his unmistakeable depictions of the Australian landscape.

Drawings and prints share many elements and complement each other in their directness and uncompromising clarity. This exhibition reveals how the making of marks with the sparest use of colour brings together complex elements of line and structure in Williamsí experience of his subjects, and confirms his pre-eminence as a printmaker and draughtsman.

Fred Williams was born in Melbourne in Melbourne in 1927 and studied there before travelling to London in the 1950s, where he learned to make etchings. Upon his return to Australia in 1957 he quickly established his reputation as a painter of note, and exhibited nationally and internationally until his death in 1982. His works have been widely acquired in Australian public and private collections, as well as international collections including MOMA and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and the Tate Gallery in London.

From Music Hall to Landscape: Fred Williams drawing and prints has been organised by Senior Curator, Hendrik Kolenberg, and Assistant Curator, Anne Ryan, from the Galleryís department of Australian Prints, Drawings and Watercolours, who selected and arranged this exhibition and compiled the catalogue. Fred Williamsí widow, Lyn Williams, has supported and generously loaned works to this exhibition.

From Music Hall to Landscape: Fred Williams drawings and prints is generously sponsored by ABN AMRO Rothschild.
On view:Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road
The Domain, Sydney 2000
Australia
Telephone:(02) 9225 1744 or recorded information
(02) 9225 1790
Hours:10am to 5pm 7 days a week
(closed Christmas Day and Easter Friday)
Admission:Free of Charge
Media Information and Interviews:Jan Batten
Press Office
telephone (02) 9233 1213
email janb@ag.nsw.gov.au