Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Fred Williams (1927–82)
“Figure with a Straw”, 1955–56
Etching, aquatint, engraving and drypoint on a zinc plate printed on cream handmade paper (note that edition numbers 1–4 are on cream hand-made paper, 5–12 on beige coloured hand-made paper), signed by the artist in pencil with the edition number.
Size: (plate) 15 x 13.4 cm; (sheet) 27.8 x 23.8 cm
Number 2 in an edition of 12; state ix (of xii).
Mollison 97ix (reproduced in plate 29)
Condition: superb impression, signed and in near pristine condition.

I am selling this early print from Williams’ London years for AU$4000 AUD (currently US$2914.10/EUR2582.28/GBP2006.74 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world. If you are interested in purchasing this remarkable original etching—and one that is often reproduced as an exemplary print of Williams’ early days—by one of Australia’s most famous artists, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

Like all of Williams’ prints and paintings, his choice of subject for this etching arose from close observation of the everyday world around him. Having made this statement, however, Williams’ choice of subject and his response to it is only an initial motivation to create images.

The real art underpinning Williams’ images is more about the thinking and intuitive “feeling” process than about creating stories. The subject was almost irrelevant. Indeed, in Williams’ own words he dispels the idea of artists creating visual narratives: “Whatever the content … I’m not all that interested … I just like to go from one thing to another … and, if I’m lucky, see it in terms of paint … Subject matter … has always been something that the artist hangs his coat on … It’s the conception that makes … [me] wake up in the morning, every morning … wanting to do it again.” (Quoted in James Mollison’s Introduction to “Fred Williams, a souvenir book of the artist’s work in the Australian National Gallery Canberra” ANG, 1987)

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