Artist Sam Gilliam Creates Site-Specific Work for the Phillips Collection’s 90th Anniversary


WASHINGTON, D.C.- In conjunction with The Phillips Collection’s 90th anniversary celebration in 2011, Washington-based, internationally recognized artist Sam Gilliam creates a site-specific work for the museum’s signature, elliptical staircase, on view Jan. 29–April 24, 2011. Gilliam, known for his innovation with unsupported canvas, plans to suspend and drape nylon panels along the east wall of the staircase, which he describes as “a beautiful, curved frame.” These large-scale, abstract panels refer to nature and at least one will have a cut-out, inviting viewers ascending and descending the stairs to engage with the surrounding area. For inspiration, Gilliam turned to paintings in the Phillips’s permanent collection, noting specifically Arthur Dove’s Flour Mill II (1938), which the artist remembers seeing early in his career. As with many of Gilliam’s other works, the piece