Aubrey Williams. Toltec (Jamaica), 1973. Oil on canvas. 35 5/8 x 47 1/8 inches. Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, museum purchase. ©2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London
Aubrey Williams’s work combines aesthetic influences garnered through his experience living and working in multiple cultural contexts. He was born in Guyana, and lived in London, Jamaica, and Coral Gables, Florida. While in London, he was a founding member of the influential Caribbean Artist Movement involving artists and intellectuals gathered there during the 1970s. Toltec (Jamaica) (1973) was produced while he was living in Jamaica and displays a synthesis of his interests in biology, ecology, European and North American abstraction, Caribbean light, and his studies of pre-Columbian cultures. The painting’s soft focus, colorful and abstract ground contrasts with more sharply articulated markings and lines inspired by Mayan hieroglyphics. As linguistic and cultural signs, these forms float in a nebulous space, evading clarity or definition.