Echoing his peers Morris Louis, Paul Reed, Willem De Looper, and other members of the Washington Color School, Sam Gilliam (American, c.1933) is known for his inventive techniques and use of color, texture, and form. In the late 1960s Gilliam took his color-stained canvases off of the stretcher and draped them on walls, hung them from ceilings, and folded them in diverse ways. These hybrid sculpture-paintings have become his most known and celebrated works. In addition to these paintings, Gilliam works with collage and paint on paper.

Gilliam was most recently recognized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden as a Washington Artist of the Year. His works is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Phillips Collection, among others.