Sam Gilliam


In 1968 Gilliam liberated his abstract expressionist canvases from their stretchers and suspended his “ecstatically” colorful paintings like banners or drapery, thus launching a remarkably vibrant career. Yet this is the first full-length book devoted to Gilliam, the best-known African American abstract painter, a much-needed volume produced in sync with a landmark traveling retrospective exhibition. Binstock, curator of contemporary art at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., tracks the evolution of Gilliam’s innovative techniques and unabashedly beautiful and often misunderstood work, from subtly layered and delicately atmospheric paintings resembling frost on glass and fossils in stone to more densely textured and earthier canvases; elaborately patterned, painted assemblages; and monochromatic paintings on wood. Binstock also sensitively chronicles the reception of Gilliam’s work, including the criticism that Gilliam’s abstractions don’t overtly reflect African American life. Determined to follow his artistic vision and revel in his independence, Gilliam observes, and all art lovers will concur, that “art is at least as important as politics when it comes to creating new ways of thinking about society and moving it forward.” Donna Seaman

Published in 2005, this monograph on the work of Sam Gilliam features texts by Jonathan P. Binstock, Walter Hopps, and Jacquelyn D. Serwer, alongside a chronology, exhibition list, bibliography and countless colour and black and white reproductions of Gilliam’s work.

* Condition: Very Good/Fine (Almost as new condition with only minor shelf wear) – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request

Sam Gilliam - A Retrospective
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