Sam Gilliam, Light Fan, 1966, acrylic, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Woodward Foundation, 1977.48.2
African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, 2012
Sam Gilliam was one of the youngest members of the Washington Color School during the 1960s and '70s. In Light Fan he poured vibrant washes of yellow, green, and blue paint over raw canvas to emphasize color instead of form, and appears to have folded the painting as it was drying to create the diagonal line that runs from corner to corner. The plain canvas at the edge of the image captures the movement of the paint as it spread over and soaked into the unprimed fabric.
Luce Object Quote"I think being creative means you are both curious and serious about your relationship to your work. It means you are eager to develop the next step even if it has to be invented." The artist, quoted in Sam Gilliam: Of Fireflies and Ferris Wheels: Monastery Parallel, Art Museum Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, 1996-97
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36 1/4 x 36 in. (92.1 x 91.4 cm)
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Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of the Woodward Foundation
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