When I look at Sam Gilliam's art, I feel.
I feel emotions that don't have words.
Elegy # 2, by Sam Gilliam, 1980
How do I "read" the language of Elegy #2? (cause it is talking to me!)
Color & Texture
Gray offers a calm respite from the mayhem of yellow and deep blue fighting for attention. Reading the work from left to right I see three different panels with somber black painted dead smack in the middle of the left. Raucous reds and blues in the middle, running, escaping to the right side -- this is what moves me most. This isn't our ideal of beautiful, instead Elegy #2 offers a glimpse of the art of the sublime that philosophers Burke and Kant wrote about.