Fred Williams first began sketching in the You Yangs, an outcrop of granite peaks south west of Melbourne, in the winter of 1962, and made a series of works on the subject between 1963 and 1964. The local landscape offered him many challenges, as it varied depending on whether he was looking towards the peaks, or away from them. A flat, rather featureless landscape without any distinct pictorial focus lay at the foot of the hills, which in contrast had many more features including rocks, trees and gullies.
The motif is built up over a geometric substructure with a series of abstract touches that can be readily identified as trees and other features of the landscape. The accumulation of marks in particular areas of the pictures was derived from Williams’ observation of gum trees planted along roads or fence lines.
The You Yangs works are particularly well represented in the gallery's collection including works in gouache, charcoal, oil and print.
© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2005
gouache on paper
38.8 x 58.8 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed lower c., pencil "Fred Williams.". Not dated.
Gift of Violet Dulieu 1994
Not on display
© Estate of Fred Williams
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s:
Australian Collection Focus: Fred Williams gouaches, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 09 Mar 2005–01 May 2005
Referenced in 1 publication
Hendrik Kolenberg, Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s, Sydney, 1995, 84 (colour illus.), 122. cat.no. 75