Sam Gilliam

Sam Gilliam (American, b. 1933) was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. Since the early sixties, Sam Gilliam has been a pillar of the Washington D.C., the modern, and the contemporary art communities. He has tested the boundaries of color, form, texture, and the canvas itself over the course of his long, productive career. Gilliam was a major contributor to the Washington Color School, a group of Washington D.C. artists that developed a form of abstract color field painting during the late 1950s through mid-1970s. His inventive approach to creating art has also had a great impact on the field of Abstract Expressionism. One of the most important African-American artists of the twentieth century, Sam Gilliam was the subject of a 1983 retrospective exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C., Modern Painter at the Corcoran: Sam Gilliam. His works are included in prestigious collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Beymans Museum in Rotterdam, the Phillips Collection, the Corcoran Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum, the National Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, and the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris among many others.

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