American, 1933 – 2022
Sam Gilliam (American, 1933 – 2022)
Acrylic on canvas
65 x 65 x 16 inches
Gift of Dorothy Butler Gilliam in memory of her parents, Adee Conklin Butler and Jessie Norment Butler
Currently not on view
Best known for freeing canvas from the boundaries of the stretcher, Sam Gilliam pioneered “drape” paintings, which hang against a wall from one or more points at the top of the canvas. An investigation of dimensionality in abstract painting, this innovative technique earned Gilliam a place in modern American art—this newfound orientation of the canvas allowed viewers to encounter the work from all angles. Cloud Kilimanjaro is fixed to the wall with a single nail so that its shape evokes the African mountain referenced in its title.