SAM GILLIAM "FOUR 200" LITHOGRAPH, 1976
Sam Gilliam (1933-2022) is beloved as one of the 20th century's most important abstract artists. He was an important artistic innovator and contributor to abstraction in America. A number of groundbreaking techniques are credited to him, most notably removing the canvas from the stretcher and draping his paintings.
Born in Mississippi, Gilliam studied at the University of Louisville and later worked in Washington D.C. with the Washington Colour School among artists such as Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland.
Gilliam’s practice constantly evolved in style and material as he worked with prints, painted collage and watercolors. He was particularly dedicated to printmaking and experimented with it throughout his career.
The 1970s were a particularly prolific and creative period for Gilliam. At times, he would lean towards abstract expressionism with bold gestural applications of color, yet he would also produce works with delicate layers of color that resembled patternmaking.
"Four 200" seems to synthesize both of these approaches. This rare print, which very infrequently comes to market, is a fine example of his work from the 1970s. The colors are dense and vibrant with subtle opacity flowing alongside each other, in a way that asks the viewer whether this was a controlled or spontaneous effort. The overall form recalls a piece of fan coral, fantastically composed of leaf-like sections of grass green, lemon, papaya and a creamy, azure blue.
Today, Gilliam's work can be found in the permanent collections of institutions around the world. He has held solo exhibitions at MoMA (New York City), The Phillips Collection (Washington, D.C.) and Kunstmuseum Basel (Switzerland).
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Lithograph on wove paper
Signed, titled, and dated 1/1/76 and numbered by artist
From an edition of 100
19"H 17.75"W (image)
27"H 27"W (framed)
Framed with museum glass
Very good condition
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