Purpled (Primary Title)
Chasers (Series Title)

Sam Gilliam, American, born 1933 (Artist)

Acrylic on canvas
United States
Unframed: 80 × 90 in. (203.2 × 228.6 cm)

Without the image, one could concentrate on the full composition.—Sam Gilliam

Raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Sam Gilliam has lived in Washington, D.C., since 1962. He has long been loosely identified with the Washington Color School, a group of artists who explore pure color and large-scale non-objective painting.

Gilliam made Purpled, one of almost twenty works in his Chasers series, from painted segments that he cut, rearranged, and sewed together. Its intricately articulated and raked surface demonstrates Gilliam’s concern with precision and process. Gilliam combines irregular geometry and tar-like acrylic emulsions to create a tension-filled composition, shifting between painting and object.

Gift of an Anonymous Donor
2003: Generations: African American Art in the VMFA Collection

1983: "Sam Gilliam", (Modern Painters at the Corcoran series), Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, March 24 - May 22, 1983
© Sam Gilliam

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