Sam Gilliam (b. 1933) is known as one of America’s most innovative painters, associated with colour-field and lyrical abstract expressionism. He has introduced groundbreaking art making techniques throughout his career - most notably removing the canvas from the stretcher and hanging his paintings in drape-like arrangements. 

Born in Mississippi, Gilliam studied at the University of Louisville and but established his career and reputation in Washington D.C. along with the Washington Colour School artists such as Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland.

Gilliam's practice has constantly evolved in style and material going beyond his iconic and monumental draped canvas works. Throughout his impressive career Gilliam has explored printmaking, painted collage, and watercolor.

“Untitled (Abstract diptych)” is a paradigm of the work he produced during the 1970s and the 1980. Gilliam veered away from the draped canvas and started producing dynamic geometric collages that were characterized by layering and contrasting textures.

While his work in the 70's and 80's feels strikingly different than the drape-works, it should be pointed out that the bravest American abstract artists continued to experiment and evolve rather than continue (re)producing their debut aesthetic. (Frank Stella is another artist who similarly superseded his early style)

In the last five years or so, Gilliam’s work has enjoyed a significant renaissance; galleries and institutions across North America are mounting solo exhibitions of the artist. Notably, the Kunstmuseum Basel hosted the first major European retrospective of the artist in 2018.

Additional images available by request.

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USA, c.1980

Mixed media on shaped canvas

27”H 22”W (framed)

Newly replaced acrylic box frame

Very good condition

Flat rate US shipping: $150  


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