At 85 years of age, the Washington Color School painter Sam Gilliam is being represented by a New York City gallery for the first time. On Monday, Pace Gallery announced Gilliam had joined its roster, while he will continue to show with Los Angeles’s David Kordansky Gallery, which began representing him after 2012.
The move to a mega-gallery comes amid a groundswell of museum and market interest in Gilliam’s work. His large, draped, and formed canvases painted in bold, shifting hues figure prominently in the traveling exhibition “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” (currently on view at The Broad), were the subject of a major solo exhibition at Kunstmuseum Basel last year, and are the focus of an exhibition opening at the Dia Art Foundation next month.
Collectors have picked up on the curatorial appetite for Gilliam’s work. Last summer at Sotheby’s in London, his 1967 painting Forth vaulted past its high estimate to sell for $1.2 million, setting a new auction record for his work.
In a statement, Pace Gallery president Arne Glimcher said:Sam Gilliam has been a radical and influential artist since his works first appeared on the scene in the mid-sixties. Inventing the path by which the canvas was freed of its support, he transformed the possibilities of picture making internationally.