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Glenn Ligon: The Limits of Visibility

Article relating to an individual, 1997
Published by: art/text
Year published: 1997
Number of pages: 4

image of Glenn Ligon: The Limits of Visibility

Richard Meyer was responsible for a four page feature on Glenn Ligon in art/text magazine, No 58, August - October 1997, pages 32 - 35, titled Glenn Ligon: The Limits of Visibility

The text opened with, “The art of Glenn Ligon mines the history of black American culture, from nineteenth century slave narratives to the Million Man March, from the visual icons of the abolitionist movement to the raunchy jokes of Richard Pryor. In his best known series of work, Ligon stencils black text across the surface of white, door-sized canvases. The words presented are not the artist’s own but have been appropriated from writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, and James Baldwin. Typically, Ligon will repeat an especially charged sentence (Hurston’s “How it feels to be colored me,” until it verges, through the force of excess paint, on illegibility. The tensions these words set up - between visibility and erasure, between the linguistic naming of “color” and its painterly absence on the canvas - suggest the subtle contradictions and perpetual slippage of racial identity and embodied desire.”

The text functioned as a readable and nuanced introduction to Ligon’s work, and was illustrated with reproductions of a number of the artist’s pieces.



Related people

»  Glenn Ligon

Born, 1960 in New York