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The 71st A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts: Colorstruck! Painting, Pigment, Affect, Part 4: Red Combustion, Blue Alchemy

Works by the renowned painters Raymond Saunders and Sam Gilliam employ an array of colors, but their art featuring red and blue communicates something not only axiomatic, but also synthetic, volatile, and aspiring to what the literary critic Marina Warner described as a quest for a universal message, or a panacea. Some of Saunders’s and Gilliam’s hued statements are ocular and seemingly derive from scientific color analyses, while others are improvisational or symbolic, evoking combustive and alchemical effects.

This is the fourth talk of the six-part series “Colorstruck! Painting, Pigment, Affect,” presented by Richard J. Powell of Duke University for the 71st A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts.