AUBREY WILLIAMS: ATLANTIC FIRE
Aubrey Williams: Atlantic Fire by Leon Wainwright is now available to read in full at the Black Atlantic Resource:
The paintings of Aubrey Williams are islands of fire that have scorched their way across a range of different stories of art. One story is about the evolution of British painting in the twentieth century. Another is a story about the way in which Caribbean people have struggled and pressed for their freedom and sparked with modern creativity. Yet another story has passages on Britain and Guyana, Jamaica, South America, and the United States, pulling in all those settings around the Atlantic where Aubrey Williams lived and worked, and where he exhibited his art. It is a story about how Williams had an ability to be in several places at once in the history of art. Williams’ legacy is framed within a brilliant composite of narratives; and there his art works have remained, smouldering continually, their heat slowly building. His life story and his art cannot be located in a simple geography, either physical or cultural. Williams painted with fire, and the path that he cut is a hard one to follow…
Leon Wainwright, ‘Aubrey Williams: Atlantic Fire’, in Reyahn King ed., 2010 Aubrey Williams: Atlantic Fire National Museums Liverpool and October Gallery, London, pp. 46-55. ISBN: 978-1-899542-30-7. Exhibition catalogue essay. Republished here with permission of the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and The October Gallery, London.