Sam Gilliam, Renowned American Drape Artist, Dies at 88

Monday, June 27, 2022
Sam Gilliam, Renowned American Drape Artist, Dies at 88

Sam Gilliam passed away on Saturday, June 25 at age 88.

Sam Gilliam passed away on Saturday, June 25 at age 88.

Throughout his seven-decade career, Gilliam reinvented and continuously reshaped abstract painting and sculpture. Incorporating rich constellations of forms, textures, and materials to forge inventive compositions, his work has exerted a profound influence on subsequent generations of artists.

Born in Tupelo, Mississippi in 1933, Gilliam was one of the leading figures associated with the Washington Color School—a movement initiated in Washington, D.C. in the 1950s that emphasized large fields of color as a response to the Abstract Expressionist works that emerged from the New York School. He quickly distinguished himself from his peers with the creation of his signature Beveled-edge and Drape paintings in the mid- to late 1960s. During these formative years, Gilliam produced the Beveled-edge paintings by folding unstretched canvas before staining it with acrylic paint to create dimensional, lyrical abstractions, which were then stretched across beveled frames

 

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