The Gilliam piece is hanging in the center of the north wall. Abstract painter Sam Gilliam has been testing the boundaries of color, form, texture, and the canvas itself over the course of his long, productive career, based in Washington D.C.
Throughout the 1960's, Gilliam was constantly changing and innovating in his style. He eventually came to expand his mediums beyond the canvas, to include three-dimensional installations, and materials such as steel, plywood, and polypropylene. His sculpture-painting hybrids (in pieces such as the one on display) have become a unique aspect of his style which he uses to inflect all of his work with an ongoing exploration of the depth, physicality, and resonance of color.
Gilliam was a part of the Washington Color School (late 1950s through mid-’70s) which sought to explore the use of large, solid areas of paint, and he has been associated with the Abstract Expressionists.