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Neruda’s The Celery Hats

This work reflects Gilliam’s penchant for breaking the rules of art. To produce this piece, he used hand-painted sheets of paper that were relief-printed from stencils (made with industrial radiator screens) and hand-carved woodblocks. After printing, the sheets were cut into the desired shapes—most of which are circular—and assembled in a dioramic fashion in a deep frame with an arched top that echoes the curvilinear motion of the composition. The image is a visual dichotomy: it is balanced but chaotic, neat but muddled. The result is neither a conventional print nor, technically, a multiple. As a work of art, it falls somewhere between painting and sculpture. Even the frame is “broken” with a projected element on the right-hand side and a hole on the left. Gilliam produced a series of twelve of these unique constructed works on paper at Echo Press in Bloomington, Indiana. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art’s collection includes a second example pegram medieval larry (Eskenazi Museum of Art 2015.3) as does the IUPUI Law School.

For more information and to see other works by this artist, visit the African American Art module.

Sam Gilliam
American, born 1933
Neruda’s The Celery Hats
1989
Monoprint: color woodcut, relief print, hand-painting, and collage on paper with artist designed frame and hand-painted wooden appendage
Frame: 47 x 53 in. (119.3 x 134.6 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 90.64

Large image not available.