Mar 31, 2022 - Sale 2599

Sale 2599 - Lot 60

Price Realized: $ 10,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 15,000
SAM GILLIAM (1933 - )
First Season.

Oil on cotton canvas, 1962. 965x711 mm; 38x28 inches. Signed, titled and dated in ink, verso.

Provenance: private collection, Maryland.

Sam Gilliam painted First Season in his first year living in Washington, DC. This figurative painting shows his transition towards abstraction, and is one of his earliest paintings to come to auction.

Gilliam completed his MA in painting at the University of Louisville in 1961 where he befriended painter Kenneth Victor Young. At the time, Gilliam was drawn to Bay Area figurative paintings - in particular, Nathan Oliveira and David Park. Jonathan Binstock writes, "Bay Area figuration was important to him because it was abstract, or at least because it represented a way for him to further the abstract quotient in his own work". Oliveira's influence can be seen in this painting. In 1962, Gilliam moved to Washington, DC to marry Washington Post reporter Dorothy Butler. Upon the recommendation of James A. Porter, whom Gilliam had sought out for advice, he took a job teaching art at McKinley High School. The following year, Gilliam had his first one person exhibition at the Adams Morgan Gallery. Binstock pp. 8-12.