Sam Gilliam - Prints & Monotypes from the 1970s

Sam Gilliam - Prints & Monotypes from the 1970s

Sam Gilliam

Sam Gilliam - Prints & Monotypes from the 1970s

Exhibition opens Friday, October 11. 5 to 9 pm.
Other times by appointment.

Preview available works here.

1495 N Harding Street
Indianapolis, IN (map)

I am extremely excited to present a selection of print works and monotypes from the 1970s by the master colorist painter Sam Gilliam.

Sam Gilliam (b. 1933, Tupelo, Mississippi) is one the great innovators in postwar American painting. Early in his career, he made clean-edged abstractions, in line with Washington Color School painters such as Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis. He gradually loosened up his style, soaking or pouring colors directly onto his canvases and folding them before they dried—a technique which created accordion lines and a deep sense of texture. Around 1965, he made his greatest stylistic innovation: He got rid of the stretcher bars that traditionally underpin a painting and draped his canvases from the wall like sheets from a clothesline.

Gilliam began his printmaking in the 1970s where he was encouraged to work in the area between painting and prints, sculpture and prints. He would occasionally use traditional techniques such as screenprinting, but would also take his prints back to the studio, cut them apart and stitch them back together with a heavy nylon filament resulting in a series of highly innovative and unique works. Bill Weege, the founder of Tandem Press, said of Gilliam’s printmaking process: “There is almost no way to reconstruct the creation of these prints, so many were the means.”

In 1972 Gilliam became the first black artist to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale, in 2005 the Corcoran Gallery of Art organized a traveling retrospective of the artist’s work, and just last month Dia: Beacon presented a semi-permanent installation of Gilliam’s paintings which I had the pleasure of seeing on a recent trip out east.

His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; the Kunstmuseum, Basel; and many others. All works will soon be posted online. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or to arrange for a private preview.