Gilliam is best known for unstretched abstractions that he drapes from the ceiling, slings over sawhorses, or, as is the case here, pins to the wall. Ranging in size from a small single sheet hung like a towel on a doorknob to mural-sized canvases, Gilliam's "drapes" were reportedly inspired by the artist's observation of laundry hanging outside his window. In this work, the cloth is gathered at three points and nailed to the wall, which allows its shape to be dictated by gravity. Its complex surface is the result of several different methods of applying paint, including stain-soaking, splattering, and folding the fabric onto itself to create a tie-dyed effect.
Gallery label from From the Collection: 1960-69, March 26, 2016 - March 12, 2017.