“Fred Williams (23 January 1927 – 22 April 1982) was an Australian painter and printmaker and one of Australia’s most important artists.
He had more than seventy solo exhibitions during his career in Australian galleries, as well as the exhibition ‘Fred Williams – Landscapes of a Continent’ at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1977.
Fred Williams was born in 1927 in Melbourne. From 1943 to 1947 he studied at the National Gallery School, Melbourne, at first part-time and then full-time from 1945 at the age of 16. The Gallery School was traditional and academic, with a long and prestigious history. He also began lessons under George Bell the following year, who had his own art school in Melbourne. This continued until 1950. Bell was a conservative modern artist but a very influential teacher.
Williams won the Wynne Prize for landscape painting twice; in 1966 with Upwey Landscape and in 1976 with Mt. Kosciusko.
His painting Upwey Landscape (1965) sold for $1,987,700 in one of the final auctions of Christie’s in Australia in April 2006, which was the second highest price for an Australian work.
He died in 1982, in Hawthorn from lung cancer at age 55.”