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Aubrey Williams

Born 1926, Georgetown, Guyana. Died 1990.

Aubrey Williams received art training in Guyana with the Working People's Art Group. In 1950s he came to England and studied at the St Martin's School of Art in London from 1952-53. He was a founder member of the Caribbean Artists' Movement in London in 1967.

Much of Williams' work developed out of a long study of the Aztec, Maya, Toltec and Inca civilisations. He compounded ancient motifs and symbolic colours into lyrical abstract paintings. Like many young painters in Britain in the 1950s he was influenced by the New York School of Abstract Expressionism, which emphasised spontaneity of expression and individuality.

Early in his career he won the Commonwealth Prize for Painting (1964) and went on to receive many other honours and prestigious commissions. He had a series of exhibitions at the October Gallery in the 1980s and retrospective exhibitions in Tokyo in 1989 and at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London in 1998.

His work was included in The Other Story which looked at the history of art by black artists in Britain, held at the Hayward Gallery in 1989-90. Williams also painted a number of portraits, his sitters included President Fidel Castro, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker.

His work is included in the collections of the Arts Council, the Tate Gallery, the BBC and many other university and public collections in this country and the Caribbean.

Carib Guyana Timerhi
Maya Series III