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Aubrey Williams “Cosmos” Series 1996

Brochure relating to an exhibition, 1996
Published by: October Gallery
Year published: 1996
ISBN: 1 899542 06 X
Unpaginated.

image of Aubrey Williams “Cosmos” Series 1996

For years before his death, London’s October Gallery emerged as a committed advocate for Aubrey Williams’ work. This advocacy and commitment has continued in the decades following the Guyana-born artist’s death in 1990. Typical in this regard was the exhibition of Williams’ “Cosmos” series, held at October Gallery 14 December 1995 - 27 January 1996. As with other exhibitions of Williams’ work at October Gallery, this one came with a modest, but very useful brochure that provided invaluable documentation of Williams’ practice. Again, as with other catalogues on Williams’ work, it was long-time admirer of Williams, Guy Brett, who provided the brief text. Brett opened his text with, “Aubrey Williams was extrememely intersted in astrology. He owned two telescopes and was a member of the Royal Astronomical Society. An inveterate insomniac, he was often up with a telescope at four in the morning observing the sky on clear nights.

But Wiilliams was also, and equally, interested in agronomy, geology, archeology, Amerindian cosmology, ecology and ornithology! He paid attention, as he himself said admiringly of the composter Shostakovich, to “a hundred different things”.

All ‘ologies’ were really aspects of the same thing, and there was something faintly absurd about the divisions and subdivisions of human knowledge in the face of such vast and grand reality. Williams could well have said of stars what he said of birds: “…To me, birds represent the unattainable, posessing qualities we can only admire from our limited human state”.”

This brochure was six-sided and folded down to an A5 lanscape size. Opening the brochure out, Brett’s text appeared between large reproductions of two of Williams’ paintings, Nebulic Cluster, 1985, oil on canvas, 119 x 178 cm, and Collapse II, oil on canvas, 76 x 122 cm. A smaller reproduction of another painting, Bio IV, oil on canvas, 61 x 76 cm appeared on the reverse of the brochure, in a substantial CV of the artist. An uncredited portrait of Williams introduced the CV, and an uncredited detail of one of his “Cosmos” paintings adorned the cover of the brochure. (the painting was Nebula in Orion, 1985, oil on canvas, 119 x 177.5 cm)

Related people

»  Guy Brett

Born, 1942. Died, 2021

»  Aubrey Williams

Born, 1926 in Georgetown, Guyana. Died, 1990

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  The October Gallery

London, United Kingdom