The record for the painter who was born in Georgetown, Guyana’s capital, but who helped found the Caribbean Artists Movement in London in the 1960s, was bettered three times last summer.
It was then broken again at the December 14 sale in Kent when Dying Volcano, a 3ft x 3ft 4in (92cm x 1.02m) signed oil on canvas from 1964, sold at the low end of its £10,000-15,000 estimate.
The catalogue described it as a ‘one of the most important pictures by Aubrey Williams to come onto the open market’. The buyer was believed to be from the UK.
Making the same price against the same estimate was a smaller work by fellow Guyanese painter Sir Richard Franklin Bowling (b.1934), known as Frank Bowling.
The 9¼ x 15¼in (24 x 39cm) acrylic on card (laid on canvas) carried an inscription on the back Blowing towards England. For Nancy and the grandchildren, as ever. FB. Nancy was the landlady of a pub in west London where she came to know the artist. Following her death, it remained with her husband who until recently had it hanging in his flat and had decided to consign it to auction.
Although larger and brighter canvases by the artist who studied alongside David Hockney and RB Kitaj in the early 1960s can make far more, this was a decent sum for a small work sold outside the main London rooms. It went to a US buyer.