Friday, February 20, 2009

Sam Gilliam in Augusta, GA

Internationally-known contemporary painter and sculptor Sam Gilliam will be in Augusta Feb. 26 for the Morris Museum of Art’s Terra Cognita lecture series. He will talk about his life and career with MMA director Kevin Grogan in a program that begins at 6 p.m. An informal reception will follow.
“Sam Gilliam took traditional painting out of its traditional structure,” Mr. Grogan said. “He literally took it off the wall and out into the same space that we occupy.”
Born in Tupelo, Miss., in 1933, Mr. Gilliam grew up in Kentucky, earning an M.A. in painting at the University of Louisville. In 1962 he arrived in Washington, D.C. in the second wave of Washington color school painters. From his “draped” canvas paintings of the 1970s to his cut metal or wooden shaped works in the 1980s and 90s, to more recent works painted on plywood with wooden attachments, Mr. Gilliam gives equal importance to color and structure. His art continues to evolve as he experiments with rich saturated colors and expressive explorations of the painted surface.
Augusta’s museum-goers will remember seeing his work last spring in the group exhibition “Something to Look Forward To: Abstract Art by Distinguished Americans of African Descent.”

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