The Easel

At Age 84, Living Legend Sam Gilliam Is Enjoying His Greatest Renaissance Yet

A retrospective in Basel is just the latest in a rush of recognition for Gilliam. After making an impact early in his career, Gilliam’s profile slipped in the absence of gallery representation. Displays at Tate and the Venice Biennale have changed that. A gallerist admits, perhaps a touch defensively, “there’s a cycle … it’s hard to be the focus of everyone’s attention incessantly.”