November 17, 2021 11:00 EST

Modern and Contemporary Art

 
  Lot 43
 

43

Sam Gilliam (American, b. 1933)
One Ring Dinger from Jail Jungle Series

Signed, dated 1974 and titled 'One Ringdinger' verso, mixed media construction, selected and found object collage.

collage:
approx. 62 x 26 x 5 in. (157.5 x 66 x 12.7cm)

display box:
height: 78 1/4 in. (198.8cm)
width: 38 1/4 in. (97.2cm)
depth: 9 in. (22.9cm)

Provenance

The Artist.
Willie Mae Logan, Washington, D.C. (acquired directly from the above).
The Estate of Willie Mae Logan, Washington, D.C.

Sold for $35,000
Estimated at $40,000 - $60,000


 

Signed, dated 1974 and titled 'One Ringdinger' verso, mixed media construction, selected and found object collage.

collage:
approx. 62 x 26 x 5 in. (157.5 x 66 x 12.7cm)

display box:
height: 78 1/4 in. (198.8cm)
width: 38 1/4 in. (97.2cm)
depth: 9 in. (22.9cm)

Provenance

The Artist.
Willie Mae Logan, Washington, D.C. (acquired directly from the above).
The Estate of Willie Mae Logan, Washington, D.C.

Exhibition

"Sam Gilliam: Indoor & Outdoor Paintings 1967-1978," University Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, September 16-November 5, 1978.

Literature

Hugh M. Davies, Sam Gilliam: Indoor & Outdoor Paintings 1967-1978, exh. cat., Amherst: University of Massachusetts, 1978, p. 28 (illus.).

Note

The Jail Jungle series marks a stark divergence from Gilliam’s most recognizable and popular work. Rather than being a standalone element, the draped, stained canvas in One Ringer Dinger serves as the backdrop for various found and selected objects ranging from beer bottle caps, to lace appliqués, to battery labels. Like a garment, the canvas falls from a clothing hanger while a dark, wooden arm emerges from its folds. A mirror where a head would be forces the viewer to look back at themselves, introspect, and position themselves as the figure in One Ringer Dinger.

Created in the years following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the subsequent race riots in Washington, D.C., the Jail Jungle series is Gilliam’s most politically charged work. The presence of the arm along with an old photograph of an anonymous African American woman in the lower right corner are clear references to race, which was previously absent from Gilliam’s work. Though an agreed upon analysis of the work remains elusive, perhaps it represents the artist’s attempt to negotiate his independent creative vision with solidarity toward the concurrent Black Arts Movement (approx. 1965-1975), which emphasized the figurative over the abstract, overt Black pride over an indifferent status quo.

Images *

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