Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Monday, September 10, 2007
Contact Info: 

Katie Kazan, Director of Public Information
608.257.0158 x 237 or

Richard H. Axsom, Curator of Collections
608.257.0158 x 249 or

High resolution images are available upon request.

Draped Painting by Sam Gilliam

Draped Painting by Sam Gilliam
On View in MMoCA Icon

MADISON, WI – A 75-foot draped painting by the internationally renowned artist Sam Gilliam will hang in the three-story glass lobby icon of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art through February 3, 2008. 
Gilliam is an abstract artist originally associated with the Washington Color School of the late 1950s and 1960s. His gestural abstraction is characterized by lyrical color and spontaneous technique. Gilliam emerged as a major artist in 1968, when he abandoned the wooden stretcher bars of traditional painting, and draped, swagged, or hung his color-stained canvases. He went on to produce abstract art that has included multimedia installations. In addition to work placed in private and institutional collections, Gilliam has received numerous commissions for public spaces, including airports and metro stations. He is also a highly admired printmaker, and often works at Tandem Press in Madison.
MMoCA's Carousel (1970) is a seventy-five-foot expanse of canvas that has been “re-draped” under the artist's supervision in the three-story spaces of the museum's lobby. The work is suspended vertically rather than horizontally, as it was in its original presentation over thirty years ago. With Carousel, Gilliam brilliantly demonstrates his interest in stretching the boundaries of painting, sculpture, and architecture. Showing that abstract painting can be sculptural, theatrical, and a thing of beauty, Gilliam's work is a testament to the continuing vitality of abstract art in the twenty-first century.
Gilliam will discuss his career in an Art Talk at the museum on Wednesday, October 3, 2007. Admission to the lecture, which begins at 7 pm in the MMoCA lecture hall, is $5 for the general public and is free for MMoCA members.  
Hours at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art are Tuesday–Wednesday (11 am–5 pm); Thursday-Friday (11 am–8 pm); Saturday (10 am–8 pm); and Sunday (noon–5 pm). The museum is closed on Mondays. 

Admission to exhibitions at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is free of charge. MMoCA is supported through memberships and through generous contributions and grants from individuals, corporations, agencies, and foundations. Important support is also generated through auxiliary group programs; special events; rental of the museum's lobby, lecture hall, and rooftop garden; and sales through the Museum Store.

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