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Sam Gilliam

Open Cylinder
1979
oil
81 x 35 1/2 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Ritzenberg

During the late 1970s, Sam Gilliam discovered that by cutting and rearranging geometric shapes from thickly painted canvases, he could expand his experiments in color and improvisation. The shifting irregular patterns in these randomly patterned canvases resemble those found in African American “crazy quilts.”