Sam Gilliam

With a Wooden Spoon, 1994

Acrylic and polypropylene mounted on birch plywood, in aluminium frames
Signed, titled and dated in ink, upper left verso
48 1/2 x 48 1/2 inches (123 x 123 cm.)

More information

Provenance: Baumgartner Galleries, Inc., Washington, DC (1994), with the gallery label verso;
Private collection, France
Private collection, Germany
Private collection, New York

Exhibited: Bikers Move Like Swallows, Baumgartner Galleries, Inc., Washington, DC, November 5 - 26, 1994.
Very Good
Private Collection
New York
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More information about this artwork

Sam Gilliam is a color field painter and lyrical abstraction artist regarded as one of the greatest innovators in postwar American painting. Acclaimed for his groundbreaking large color-stained unsupported and draped canvases, which he suspended from walls and ceilings, Gilliam introduces the third dimension in painting, placing the framework in real space. Experimentation has been a constant throughout his disruptive artistic career, taking influence from Germanic Expressionists, jazz musicians or African patchworks quilts from his childhood. His most recent body of work includes dynamic geometric collages, the use of computer-generating images, metallic and iridescent acrylics, and sculptural 3D elements. Gilliam is considered the major contributor to the Color School, with his work included in over 50 public collections worldwide and a major retrospective being announced in the upcoming years.

With a Wooden Spoon is an exceptional example of the artist’s architectural productions. This striking piece is layered with acrylic on birch plywood constructions, blurring the lines between painting and sculpture. Being the first African-American to represent the United states at the Venice Biennale in the 70’s, Gilliam is and will remain one of the most influential artists of our era.

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