At 81, the painter Sam Gilliam is in the throes of what might be the most brilliant moment of his career.
The rediscovery of an artist is always endearing. It seems to happen every couple of years: An older painter with a sterling record, who has nonetheless escaped notice for a few decades, is suddenly taken up again. The work looks great, the artist is rescued from oblivion, and everyone is bracingly reminded of how fragile and mutable our sense of history can be. It happened in the late ’90s to Bridget Riley; it happened a