Gilliam as an artist is always evolving. Artnews, September 1980, pp. Nov 26,2020
He told the Los Angeles Times, “The limitation imposed on me by being a black artist was almost killing.
." He has not lost his sense of adventure before his materials—and as a result has not lost the capacity to surprise.”, Some early 1980s pieces used metal in conjunction with other materials. Gilliam has given credit to both his ambition and the help of friends to helping him gain entrance to galleries such as the Walker Art Center, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Phillips Collection and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, in Washington, DC. In these highly sculptural works, gravity and the flexibility of the fabric give the paintings their structure. As Nigel Freeman, Director of African-American Fine Art at Swann Auction Galleries, notes, “the market is still developing a range of values from his most sought after color field painting to his collaged and shaped constructions of the 1980s and 90s, without even getting to recent work of the last few decades.”. St. James's | London | UK
. This innovative and improvisational technique was phenomenally successful and of widespread influence. For him, this is a positive way to keep his work innovative and to keep learning.” Gilliam told Grant in the same article, “My formula has always been one of change… It’s really a matter of confidence and of gut instincts. Sometimes he devises enormous installations—in Thailand, Finland or Korea—in which 1,500 yards of his printed, painted fabrics, draped, gathered and suspended, go swooping through the air.”. For on-line resources about Sam Gilliam see: http://www.crosstownarts.com/CrosstownArts/clientart/sam/html and http://www.speedmuseum.org/samgilliam/westlou.html. Wrote Jane Addams Allen in Art in America, “Gilliam’s canvases from the ’70s are keyed to a single color, usually white or black, and are quite romantic in their flickering textured surfaces. Gilliam is associated with the Washington Color School, a group of Washington, D.C. area artists that developed a form of abstract art from color field painting in the 1950s and 1960s. Later he created multimedia installations and used brightly stained polypropylene, layers of color, computer generated imaging, metallic and iridescent acrylics, hand made paper, aluminum, steel, and plastic. Art, Art Inst., Chicago, Tate Gallery, London, Eng., Musee d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France, Boymans Mus., Rotterdam, Holland, and others. Sam Gilliam (Painter) was born on November 30, 1933 in Tupelo under Sagittarius zodiac and got ranking 85301. Est. He has said he only believes in art. Gilliam’s paintings and drawings from graduate school in the late 1950s until his first one man exhibition in Washington in 1963 were primarily figural abstractions employing bold, dark colors of a brooding nature reminiscent of the works of German Expressionist Emil Nolde. Early influences included Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland. His most ambitious work from that era, a black painting entitled Coffee Thyme creates an almost mystical atmosphere with its single dark triangle glowing against a slightly luminous rectangle in a sea of deep blues and reds on black.”, About Gilliam’s Wild Goose Chase series Regenia A. Perry stated in Free Within Ourselves, “[The series] includes this two-part ensemble, called Open Cylinder, an example of his ’quilted’ paintings produced during the late 1970s. Nonetheless, Gilliam also spends time conducting workshops, taking part in panel discussions, and giving talks in the United States and abroad. After seeing women hanging laundry outside the window of his Washington studio, Gilliam decided not to use a frame or stretcher for his work. The seventh of eight children, Gilliam and his family moved to Louisville, Kentucky, shortly after he was born. Gilliam also taught art in public schools. Modern Art, N.Y.C., Rockefeller Collection, N.Y.C., Corcoran Gallery Art, Washington, Howard U., Washington, Gallery Modern Art, Washington, Mus. Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Whether I am teaching or making art, the process is fundamentally the same: I am creating.” — Sam Gilliam quoted in Curtia James, “Working With His Seven League Boots On,” American Visions 4:1 (Feb. 1989): 27. Instead he draped and hung large pieces of paint-stained canvases from ceilings, walls, or on floors. Sam Gilliam, Half-Pint of Whiskey, Ellison Clarinet (2016). These folded paintings of 1967 recall Barnett Newman's work with the repeating vertical stripe. “His name is on the tip of everyone's tongue,” Hamill tells us. Total Sold Value $6,406,460
The "black paintings" begun in 1977 are similarly heavily textured by layering black paint over other hues and then raking the surface of the painting. Mass, Amherst, 1978, Galerie Darthea Speyer, Paris, France, 1978-91, Whitney Mus., N.Y.C., 1993; numerous group shows, including Dade County Library, Miami, Fla., 1978, Grey Gallery, N.Y.C. His father worked on the railroad, and his mother cared for the large family. Cederholm, Theresa D., Afro-American Artists, Boston Public Library, 1973, pp. For more information, see our, Sam Gilliam in his Studio, photograph copyright of, What's Happening in the Art World in November, Contemporary Chinese Artists, Still on the Rise, Chagall’s Massive Curtain From the Famed “Magic Flute”, Book Review: Imaginative Realism Has Arrived. Sam Gilliam frequently exhibited at the Fendrick Gallery in Washington, D.C. Gilliam's 1973 work with assemblages incorporating buttons, photos, and laundry tickets gave way in the mid 1970s to textured canvases with wedge-shaped color insets which appear as though suspended in a fluid-like atmosphere. Gilliam’s Verticle D series of 21 small sand and mud-based paintings used a multicolored metal D-shaped form at the bottom of each painting. Made of enamel covered over with acrylic paint, they jut far off the wall into space. As a hobby the artist collected antique toys, especially mechanical banks, and pieces of marble from around the world. ." Despite this, and though he’s always remained ‘popular’, he has never quite commanded the market-power of some of his contemporaries in the New York School. The full text of the article is here →. Born Sam Gilliam, November 30, 1933, in Tupelo, MS; son of Sam and Estery C. (Cousins); married Dorothy Butler, in 1962; children: Stephanie, Melissa, Leah. This is without taking into account the sale of his painting Blood Legacy (1983) last Thursday for $100,000 and of course the upcoming November sales. Cummings, Paul, editor, Dictionary of Contemporary American Artists, Saint Martin’s Press, 1994, pp. Explore Sam Gilliam's social profile such as: Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, Linkedin, and Quora . The Gilliams had three daughters. Like the waves of his draped, unstretched canvases, his market-value has peaked and swooped across the 70-odd years of his output. Hung in a draped manner, often in long sequences like heavy buntings, these works merge painting and sculpture, abstract and object, into a freer zone of expression. . In 1951, Gilliam graduated from Central High School in Louisville. As a hobby the artist collected antique toys, especially mechanical banks, and pieces of marble from around the world. He is most widely known for the large color-stained canvases he draped and suspended from the walls and ceilings during the late 1960s and early 1970s. ." Then he attacked them with a rake to produce variations in texture. For the past twenty five years, Sam Gilliam has been internationally recognized as the foremost contemporary African American Color Field painter.