Artist biography

Sam Gilliam born 1933

American abstract painter, born in Tupelo, Mississippi. Grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. Studied painting at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, where he had his first one-man exhibition in 1956. Moved to Washington, DC, in 1962 and taught at McKinley High School, Washington, 1962-7. Was influenced by the Washington colour painters such as Noland and painted a number of pictures with colour stripes, then began in 1966-7 to stain and fold unstretched canvas which was afterwards attached to a wooden support. From early 1968 dispensed with stretchers and suspended the painted canvas in loose sweeping curves or drapes from the wall or ceiling. Artist Fellow, Washington Gallery of Modern Art Workshop Program 1968; Guggenheim Foundation Award 1971. One of six artists shown in the US pavilion at the 1972 Venice Biennale. Lives in Washington.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.286