Sam Gilliam (1933-2022, Mississippi) is known for his illustrious draped paintings that line the ceilings and walls of galleries and homes around the world. His works simultaneously draw upon and contest the ethos of the Washington Color School movement, translating two-dimensional Abstract Expressionist painting to a sculptural plane. Gilliam’s process of taping, folding and creasing unstretched canvases followed by pouring pigments produced luminous veils of color that can be installed a multitude of ways. Inspired by the improvisatory nature of jazz, Gilliam’s oeuvre is expressive in color and dynamic in form.
Gilliam received his formal art education at the University of Louisville, earning a BFA and MFA in painting. He then moved to Washington, D.C, where he became a leader in the capital city’s influential school of Color Field painting. Gilliam received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Medal of Art from the U.S. State Department. Today, his works are found in numerous public collections, including the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Tate Modern (London) and the Museum of Modern Art (New York).
- Like Sam Gilliam, abstract painters Helen Frankenthaler and Sam Francis used innovative techniques and aesthetics to disrupt the reigning paradigms of the Abstract Expressionist movement.
- Sam Gilliam transforms spaces by suspending and draping canvases. Ghanaian artist El Anatsui takes a similar approach to installing his large-scale tapestries made from salvaged metals and wire. View his work.
TEXTURESA Textile-inspired Print Show 25 Jun - 2 Oct 2021Textiles are as complex as they are quotidian. We interface with fiber constantly (it’s enveloping you right now) but seldom investigate our longstanding bond with material. Within their threaded DNA,...
Folio II12 Dec 2020 - 30 Jan 2021Zane Bennett's annual group exhibition features gallery staff favorites from the 2020 collection. Discover artworks by Mary Heilmann, Nick Cave, Helen Frankenthaler and more. FEATURED ARTISTS: Helen Frankenthaler, Mary Heilmann,...
ChromoAnnual Winter/Spring Print Show 31 Jan - 4 Jul 2020El Anatsui, Mel Bochner, Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Gilliam, Sol LeWitt, Mark Mulroney, Bruce Nauman, Louise Nevelson, Mimmo Paladino, Hayal Pozanti, Robert Rauschenberg, Bridget Riley, Ed Ruscha, Jonas Wood at Zane Bennett Contemporary Art
Sam Gilliam at the Hirshhorn MuseumWashington, D.C. February 7, 2020The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden will present the first American museum retrospective of Sam Gilliam in more than 15 years opening in spring...
Sam Gilliam at Dia Art Foundation3 Beekman Street, Beacon, NY September 12, 2019Dia Art Foundation presents an exhibition of Sam Gilliam’s early work from the 1960s and 1970s at Dia:Beacon in Beacon, New York. Installed alongside Dia’s...