Aubrey Williams:
Art, Histories, Futures

Ian Dudley, Maridowa Williams

Publicaton Date
October 2024
Standard Number
Yale University Press

The first comprehensive exploration of Aubrey Williams’s art, revealing the cross-cultural dynamics and transformations connecting Caribbean, British and Atlantic histories
The abstract paintings of Guyanese artist Aubrey Williams (1926–1990) evoke elemental forces of earth, fire and cataclysm. At the same time, through these paintings, Williams bore witness to the deep historical interconnections linking the Caribbean, Britain and wider Atlantic worlds as they transformed through colonial and postcolonial eras.
This book is the first comprehensive investigation of Williams’s practice. With an introduction by Kobena Mercer and groundbreaking new scholarship by Ian Dudley, Claudia Hucke and Giulia Smith, this volume addresses the Indigenous, ecological and transnational dimensions of Williams’s modernist oeuvre. In addition, a memoir by the artist’s daughter, Maridowa Williams, offers an intimate look at the biographical dimensions of his work. Alongside an extraordinary and revealing selection of unpublished and out-of-print writings by Williams, artworks illustrating the full range of his practice – from early abstracts and lesser‑known murals and portraits to such later major works as the Shostakovich, Bird Paintings, Olmec-Maya & Now and Cosmos series – illuminate the complex cross-cultural dynamics at play across Williams’s 'World Aesthetic'.

About the authors

  • Ian Dudley is a visiting fellow in art history in the School of Philosophical, Historical and Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Essex

  • Maridowa Williams is the daughter of Aubrey Williams and plays a key role in keeping the artist’s work current and accessible through exhibitions, publications, and related projects.