ADD to Exhibition(s) of interest
Sam Gilliam was born in Tupelo, Mississippi in 1933 and grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. Having served in the United States Army from 1956 to 1958, Gilliam received an MA in painting at the University of Louisville in 1961, and also an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters at the University of Louisville in 1980. Internationally recognized as the foremost contemporary African-American color field painter and lyrical abstractionists, he is also acknowledged as having painted the first unsupported canvas in 1965.
In the 1960s Gilliam’s work began to explode in all directions, taking bold, declarative initiatives, making definitive imagery using inspiration based on conditions exploring the African American experience. Beginning in 1970, he exhibited at the Galerie Darthea Speyer in Paris, France. Gilliam, reknowned for his color-field paintings, is among the most prominent African American abstract painters.