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Sam Gilliam, Homage to the Square, 2016–2017, acrylic on wood. © Sam Gilliam

4: Red Combustion, Blue Alchemy

A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts

  • Sunday, April 10, 2022
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • West Building Lecture Hall or Virtual
  • Virtual Program

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. Learn more about the series.

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.

Registration is required to attend in person or virtually.