The Easel

Archives: NPR

28th June 2022

Visual artist Sam Gilliam has died at 88

The tale goes that Gilliam saw washing on a washing line and adapted the idea. What he produced was his signature “drapes” where unstretched canvasses were soaked and painted with brilliant swathes of colour. Hanging  from hooks on a wall, they are mid-way between painting and sculptures. After representing the USA at the 1972 Venice Biennale, the art world mostly forgot about him for 40 years. And then, suddenly, acceptance. A review of his final survey show is here.