Artist Sam Gilliam Died Renal Failure

Sam Gilliam, 88, who insisted on the radical potential of abstraction in his draping, color-drenched 

canvases, has passed away. Both Pace and David Kordansky, the two galleries who jointly 

represent the artist, have confirmed the information. At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, 

Gilliam embraced abstraction and liberated the canvas from its frame. Despite spending 

his early years in Kentucky, where he first experienced the thrill of painting. Gilliam was the 

first Black artist to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1972.

In postwar American painting, Sam Gilliam was one of the great pioneers.

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