Education Center, Mezzanine, Theater 3
Sam Gilliam by Stephen Frietch, and Jonathan Binstock by Myers Creative Imaging, Rochester

7:00 pm Program | 8:15 PM Reception
Doors Open at 6:45 pm

The Celeste Bartos Theater (Theater 3)
The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building
The Museum of Modern Art
4 West 54 Street

Tickets ($35 general public, $20 members, $12 students) may be purchased at the Museum Information and Film desks, online at, or through the Friends of Education office.

All tickets will be held at the door.

Presented by The Friends of Education of The Museum of Modern Art as part of the series Conversations: Among Friends, this evening's program features a conversation between artist Sam Gilliam and Jonathan Binstock, The Mary W. and Donald R. Clark Director of the Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester. Following the program, guests are invited to continue the conversation and meet the participants at an intimate reception catered by Settepani in the Education and Research Building Mezzanine.

Internationally acclaimed abstract painter Sam Gilliam, Jr. was born in 1933 in Tupelo, Mississippi, and grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. Gilliam received his BA from the University of Louisville in 1955, and after two years in the army, went on to earn his MA in fine arts from the University of Louisville in 1961. In 1963, Gilliam moved to Washington D.C., where he was introduced to the Washington Color School and began his decades long career. Best known for his innovative Drape paintings, Gilliam constantly tests boundaries of color, form, texture, and material. In 1971 he participated in the boycott of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Contemporary Black Artists in America exhibition, and in 1973 created the installation Autumn Surf for SFMOMA. In 1975 he developed his Black paintings and White Collage paintings, additionally creating his first outdoor work, Seahorse, for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In 1983 the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., gave Gilliam his first retrospective; a second, traveling survey, organized by Jonathan Binstock and the Corcoran, toured from 2005 to 2007. Over the course of his career he has participated in numerous institutional exhibitions and biennials throughout the world, including most recently Not New Now, Marrakech Biennale 6, Morocco, 2016; Surface Matters, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2015; Surface Tension, The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, 2015; Affecting Presence and the Pursuit of Delicious Experiences, The Menil Collection, Houston, 2015; Represent: 200 Years of African-American Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2015; Pretty Raw: After and Around Helen Frankenthaler and New Acquisitions, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, 2015; and Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties, organized by the Brooklyn Museum, 2014-15. Gilliam has received honorary degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Louisville, a Norman W. Harris Prize from the Art Institute of Chicago, two National Endowment of the Arts Awards, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. On June 4, he will open an exhibition of his Beveled-edge and Drape paintings from the late 1960s and early 1970s at David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles. Gilliam lives and works in Washington, D.C.

Jonathan P. Binstock is the Mary W. and Donald R. Clark Director of the Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester. Previously, he was Vice President, Modern and Contemporary Art in the Art Advisory & Finance group for Citi Private Bank, where he worked with clients and their families in the U.S. and abroad to build personal art collections, and assessed the quality and value of artworks in the bank’s art lending program. Prior to Citi, Binstock worked in museums for over a decade as an expert in art of the post-WWII era, holding positions such as Curator of Contemporary Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and Assistant Curator, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia. He earned a master’s degree and PhD in art history from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and has taught art history at the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania. He lectures regularly in graduate seminars on art and cultural criticism at Columbia University, and in July 2015, completed a residency at the Getty Leadership Institute at Claremont Graduate University. Binstock is the author and/or curator of numerous books and exhibitions including Dan Steinhilber: Marlin Underground (2012); Sam Gilliam: A Retrospective (2005); Atomic Time: Pure Science and Seduction (2003), featuring the art of Jim Sanborn; the 47th (2002) and 48th (2005) Corcoran Biennials; Andy Warhol: Social Observer (2000); two exhibitions devoted to the late and influential artist Jeremy Blake (2000 and 2007); and, most recently, Meleko Mokgosi: Pax Kaffraria, published by the Hammer Museum, UCLA (2014). Binstock is a peer reviewer for the U.S. General Services Administration Percent-for-Art Art in Architecture Program, a scholarly consultant for the Visual Art Gallery of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the American Federation of Arts.

Presented by The Friends of Education of The Museum of Modern Art, Conversations: Among Friends explores works of art as reflections of their political and social contexts.

This event is part of Conversations: Among Friends.