SAM GIL­LIAM

Capitol File - - SPACE - Many Things

If there’s one per­son who speaks to DC’s artis­tic past and fu­ture, it’s Sam Gil­liam. An artist af­fil­i­ated with the Wash­ing­ton Color School—the cere­bral mode of stain paint­ing that this city was known for in the 1960s and ’70s—Gil­liam has mounted ma­jor in­ter­na­tional mu­seum ex­hibits around the world. This sum­mer, he is ex­hibit­ing his work in the pres­ti­gious Venice Bi­en­nale (where he has shown pre­vi­ously). Many Things (2003) is an atyp­i­cal work, as many of his best-known can­vases

hang loosely like drapes. This one in­stead ap­pears to have many frames: It’s a com­plex cross-lay­ered jum­ble of shapes and forms, evok­ing free jazz and tongues of flame. This paint­ing might re­mind view­ers of late Frank Stella or El­iz­a­beth Mur­ray, artists who took great lib­er­ties with the no­tion of frame and can­vas. But it may also sim­ply strike view­ers as an el­e­gant riff on har­mony and dy­namism. Lo­cated at the Metro en­trance, Street Level, on the M Street side of the build­ing.

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