Andrew Berardini reviews the exhibition Sam Gilliam: Hard-Edge Paintings 1963-1966 at David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, on view through May 11, 2013.
Bernardini writes: "…these paintings are not all that 'revolutionary' as paintings. They came well-after Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland, the first-string of what would later become known as the Washington Color School, who did the same thing earlier. These paintings are some might say that dirty d-word, derivative, but that doesn't mean you have to hate them… They are each and all a basic design, filled with cool unpretentious energy. And though as an authored gesture, they may not cut the mustard as revolutionary, but as a gesture, especially one that led to others, their simplicity is certainly so."