El Dorado is a legendary ‘city of gold’ which inspired several colonial expeditions, two of which were led by Sir Walter Raleigh, who explored what is now Guyana and eastern Venezuela, and wrote The Discovery of Guiana
, 1596, an exaggerated account of his voyage. This piece, in rich reds, oranges, and punctuated with black and gold, evokes the exploitation of land. The search for gold and resources means much damage has been done through the centuries to the Amazon region – as an artist deeply concerned with environmental threats, this was a subject explored in several of Williams’ works.
FSC Certified paper and wood
Date of work
Original: El Dorado 1960 Oil paint on canvas 995 × 1300 mm © Estate of Aubrey Williams. All rights reserved, DACS 2021
Aubrey Williams (1926 – 1990) was an artist born in Georgetown, Guyana. He began painting at an early age, and moved to London in 1952, and studied at Saint Martin’s School of Art. He is best known for his large scale oil paintings, which blend abstract expressionism with forms, images and symbols inspired by the pre-Columbian art of indigenous peoples of the Americas. He co-founded the Caribbean Artists Movement together with a group of London-based Caribbean artists and intellectuals. Four of his works form part of the Tate collection.