Sam Gilliam, Jr.
(Mississippi/Washington, D.C., 1933-2022)
"Untitled: Abstraction", 1969
watercolor on folded and creased paper
signed and dated lower right.
Matted, glazed and framed.
23-3/4" x 18", framed 30-1/4" x 24"
Provenance: Fendrick Gallery, Georgetown, ca. 1975; Private collection, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Literature: "Sam Gilliam: Paintings, 1970-1975", October 15 through November, 8, 1975, Fendrick Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Notes: In 1973, 1974 and 1975, Fendrick Gallery in Washington, D.C. held solo exhibitions of Sam Gilliam's paintings. Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, Gilliam earned an MA in painting from the University of Louisville in 1961 before moving to Washington, D.C., where, as a young African American artist, he experienced first-hand the Civil Rights Movement. In the work offered here "Untitled: Abstraction", Gilliam experimented with applying the watercolor to folded and creased paper. His innovative ideas of removing the canvas from the stretcher, and thus challenging the traditional concept of the picture frame, appear to have crystallized in the late 1960s and early 1970s.