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Sam Gilliam Art

American, 1933-2022

Postwar American artist Sam Gilliam was an innovative Color Field painter and lyrical abstractionist perhaps best known for working directly on draped, unprimed canvases freed from their stretcher bars in as early as the mid-1960s.

Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Gilliam studied art at the University of Louisville, earning both undergraduate and graduate degrees in fine art. He moved to Washington, D.C., in 1962, where he became associated with the Washington Color School. Inspired by the vibrant hues of German Expressionism, Gilliam pushed the limits of his medium by eliminating the use of easels and stretchers. Instead, he painted on draped canvases suspended from the walls and the ceiling of his studio.

Overlooked at first, the resulting works, radiant and rippling with energy, would become universally recognized as a hallmark of Gilliam’s oeuvre. Later in his career, he would draw inspiration from jazz and textile artistry, creating improvisational collage-style “quilted” paintings on nylon or canvas that recall quilt patterns.

In 1972, Gilliam became the first Black artist to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale; he also exhibited at the 2017 Venice Biennale. His works can be found in more than 50 public collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art (now the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design) in Washington, D.C., the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Paris Museum of Modern Art, among many others. Gilliam’s awards include the United States State Department Medal of Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and more.

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Artist: Sam Gilliam
Four 200
By Sam Gilliam
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Sam Gilliam (1933 - 2022), is known as one of America’s most prominent abstract artists, an important contributor to both color-field and lyrical abstract expressionism. Gilliam intr...
Category

1970s Abstract Sam Gilliam Art

Materials

Lithograph

Sam Gilliam Handmade Paper "Arrow Head #4", Signed & Dated
By Sam Gilliam
Located in Detroit, MI
Arrow Head #4” was created by Sam Gilliam, one of the great innovators in postwar American painting. The thick handmade paper is rich with folds and textu...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Sam Gilliam Art

Materials

Acrylic, Handmade Paper

Cuatro (Monoprint with screenprint, collage, acrylic, stitching and embossing)
By Sam Gilliam
Located in New York, NY
Sam Gilliam Cuatro, 1994 Monoprint with screenprint, collage, acrylic, stitching and embossing in colors on handmade paper Hand signed, dated, titled and annotated P/P by Sam Gilliam...
Category

1990s Abstract Expressionist Sam Gilliam Art

Materials

Mixed Media, Acrylic, Monoprint, Screen

Sam Gilliam Handmade Paper "Untitled #34" Acrylic. Signed & Dated
By Sam Gilliam
Located in Detroit, MI
“Untitled #34” was created by Sam Gilliam, one of the great innovators in postwar American painting. It is dated and signed on the lower front. The thick handmade paper is rich with folds and texture and the colors lively. In addition to Acrylic paint on the surface there appears to be imbedded color in the handmade paper which has additional embossed accents. Unframed the piece measures 16 x 14. Provenance of Yaw Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan is on the verso along with the note that the Paper Surfaces in contact with this artwork are acid free. In the mid-1960s he emerged from the Washington D.C. scene with works that elaborated upon and disrupted the ethos of Color School painting. A series of formal breakthroughs would soon result in his canonical Drape paintings, which expanded upon the tenets of Abstract Expressionism in entirely new ways. One profound manner was the sculpture aspect of the painting giving it a free flowing expression of pure color. In the latter half of the 1950s, Washington D.C. saw a flourishing of abstract art that emphasized the form-making capabilities of pure color. Known as The Washington Color School, the loosely affiliated group of abstract painters knew each other through various teaching experiences. The moniker has an uncertain origin but likely originated with the title of a 1965 exhibition at the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, "Washington Color Painters," curated by Gerald Nordland. The show exhibited the works of Kenneth Noland, Paul Reed, Morris Louis, Howard Mehring, Thomas Downing, and Gene Davis. Additionally, Leon Berkowitz...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Sam Gilliam Art

Materials

Acrylic, Handmade Paper

Offset Lithograph Warmly Inscribed to Renowned African American Arts Educator
By Sam Gilliam
Located in New York, NY
Sam Gilliam Offset Lithograph Warmly Inscribed to Renowned African American Arts Educator, 1988 Offset Lithograph Card Hand written, signed and inscribed card with a warm personal message from the artist Frame Included Hand written, signed and inscribed offset lithograph card with a warm personal message from Sam Gilliam to Lindsay Waldorf Patterson. Measurements: Frame: 14 7/8 x 12 x 1/2 inches Card: 8 x 5 inches The inscription reads: To Lindsay: With Warmest Regards Sam Gilliam Lindsay Waldorf Patterson was an American English literature educator and author as well as a MacDowell Colony fellow (3 awards); Edward Albee Foundation fellow (2 awards); recipient award National Foundation on Arts & Humanities. Hand signed on the front Provenance: From the estate of Lindsay Waldorf Patterson. Lindsay Waldorf Patterson was an American English literature educator and author as well as an MacDowell Colony fellow (3 awards); Edward Albee Foundation fellow (2 awards); recipient award National Foundation on Arts & Humanities. Formerly an account executive, Harrison Advertising Agency, New York City, 1964; feature writer and columnist assistant to Langston Hughes, Associated Negro Press, 1965; special feature writer (film) Uptight,, Paramount Pictures, 1968; co-host Celebrity Hour program, Station WRVR-FM, New York City, 1974-1977; co-host Black Conversations program, Station WPIX-television, New York City, 1976-1979; assistant Professor of English, Queens College, Flushing, New York, since 1990. Adjunct Professor Afro-American & Caribbean literature, black theater...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Sam Gilliam Art

Materials

Lithograph, Offset

After Smoke
By Sam Gilliam
Located in New York, NY
Color screenprint on Arches paper. Signed, titled, dated and numbered 22/73 in pencil by Gilliam. Printed by Lou Stovall at the Workshop, Inc., Washington,...
Category

1980s Color-Field Sam Gilliam Art

Materials

Color, Screen

RECITALS Signed Mixed Media Print, Abstract Collage, Rainbow Colors, Spirals
By Sam Gilliam
Located in Union City, NJ
RECITALS is mixed media limited edition print by the renowned African American artist Sam Gilliam, created using Archival Inkjet, Relief, and Stencil techniques. This vertical, rainbow colored, bold geometric composition presents the viewer with an abstract collage of circles, squares, spirals, textures, and translucent layers. The 3-D effect of Japanese washi tissue paper with spiral design lace overlaying the main shapes gives a sense of lightness and dimension. A subtle texture of woodgrain is discernible in the print margins, adding warmth. The glowing rainbow color area and large black and red violet textured spheres set an atmospheric, planetary feel beneath the semi-opaque lacy black and white squares. Print size - 38 x 20 inches, unframed, excellent condition, pencil signed, numbered, and titled by Sam Gilliam Edition size - 100 Year published - 2009 Sam Gilliam (1933-2022)was an American color field painter and lyrical abstractionist artist. Gilliam was 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. His works have also been described as belonging to abstract expressionism and lyrical abstraction. He worked on stretched, draped and wrapped canvas, and added sculptural 3D elements. He was recognized as the first artist to introduce the idea of a draped, painted canvas hanging without stretcher bars around 1965. This was a major contribution to the Color Field School...
Category

Early 2000s Contemporary Sam Gilliam Art

Materials

Mixed Media

Untitled
By Sam Gilliam
Located in New York, NY
A very good impression of this screenprint on hand made, hand dyed paper. Signed, dated and numbered 7 in pencil by Gilliam.
Category

1970s Modern Sam Gilliam Art

Materials

Dye, Handmade Paper, Color, Screen

Buoy Landscape IV
By Sam Gilliam
Located in New York, NY
Sam Gilliam Buoy Landscape IV, 1982 Color relief print, etching, screenprint, drypoint, aquatint and roulette all from deeply etched copper plates, on handmade wove paper 31 1/2 × 24 inches Edition 3/25 Hand-signed by artist, Signed by artist, numbered, and dated in pencil and blind-stamped by printer-publisher on lower right, titled in pencil on lower left, recto Unframed with elegant deckled edges Rare vintage intaglio...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Sam Gilliam Art

Materials

Mixed Media, Drypoint, Etching, Aquatint, Screen, Pencil

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Pretty Boxes
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SAM GILLIAM PRETTY BOXES Artist: Sam Gilliam Title: Pretty Boxes Medium: Color screenprint and offset lithograph with collage on Arches paper Date: 1993 Ed...
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"Chakaia" Contemporary Abstract Mixed Media Canvas Assemblage Painting
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Untitled (for the College Art Association)
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RECITALS Signed Mixed Media Print, Abstract Collage, Rainbow Colors, Spirals
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RECITALS is mixed media limited edition print by the renowned African American artist Sam Gilliam, created using Archival Inkjet, Relief, and Stencil techniques. This vertical, rainb...
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Untitled (aka "Midnight")
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Sam Gilliam (b. 1933), is known as one of America’s most prominent abstract painters, an important contributor to both color-field and lyrical abstract expressionism. Gilliam introduced groundbreaking art making techniques throughout his career. 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. The artist’s practice has constantly evolved in style and material. While known most famously as the creator of monumental draped canvas...
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1980s Abstract Sam Gilliam Art

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Handmade Paper, Screen

Adamo #5
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Adamo #5 is a monotype with elements of serigraph, stitching, and collage. This unique print features hand-made patchwork and layers of color and pattern, creating an extraordinary s...
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Two by Sam Gilliam is crafted with handmade paper and stitched together beautifully with bold and vibrant threading, making the back of the print as interesting as the front. Gilliam...
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Two
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Sam Gilliam art for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Sam Gilliam art available for sale on 1stDibs. You can also browse by medium to find art by Sam Gilliam in screen print, acrylic paint, handmade paper and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th century and is mostly associated with the abstract style. Not every interior allows for large Sam Gilliam art, so small editions measuring 12 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of James Brooks, Henri Michaux, and Robert Goodnough. Sam Gilliam art prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $2,800 and tops out at $31,500, while the average work can sell for $7,950.

Artists Similar to Sam Gilliam

Questions About Sam Gilliam Art
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    American artist Sam Gilliam is best known for his contributions to the Washington Color School movement through his famed ‘drape paintings’. He is credited as being the first artist to engage with idea of a draped, painted canvas without stretcher bars during the 1960s. On 1stDibs, shop a collection of expertly-vetted Sam Gilliam pieces from some of the world’s top art dealers.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    African-American artist Sam Gilliam is considered a color field painter and a lyrical abstractionist. He is most well-known for his large works in the late 1960s and early 1970s, which featured painted canvases draped from walls and ceilings. On 1stDibs, find a variety of original artwork from top artists.

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