Sam Gilliam, Double Merge, 1968, Installation view, Dia: Beacon, Beacon, New York, 2019 © Sam Gilliam/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Bill Jacobson Studio, New York. Courtesy of Dia Art Foundation.


Dia Art Foundation and MFA Houston Acquire Sam Gilliam's "Double Merge" (1968)

Monday, Mar 15, 2021

Dia Art Foundation and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, announced their joint acquisition of a major early work by Sam Gilliam, entitled Double Merge (1968). Currently on view at Dia:Beacon in Beacon, New York, the work will travel to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in 2022, after which it will change locations every five years.

Jessica Morgan, Dia's Director, stated, “We have these works in order to show them to a general public, so therefore reaching more of a public in different parts of the country is surely only a good thing." Morgan went on to note, “I do believe that this is the future for acquisitions."

Sam Gilliam is one of the great innovators in postwar American painting. He emerged from the Washington, D.C. scene in the mid 1960s with works that elaborated upon and disrupted the ethos of Color School painting. A series of formal breakthroughs would soon result in his canonical Drape paintings, which expanded upon the tenets of Abstract Expressionism in entirely new ways. Suspending stretcherless lengths of painted canvas from the walls or ceilings of exhibition spaces, Gilliam transformed his medium and the contexts in which it was viewed.

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