This Sunday, From the DS Archives takes a second look at New York-based artist Glenn Ligon. Ligon is currently the subject of a mid-career retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, an exhibition that will travel on to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in fall 2011 and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in early 2012. Ligon’s most iconic works, namely his celebrated text-based paintings, will be presently alongside previously unexhibited early paintings and drawings, offering the opportunity to reexamine his origins as an artist.
This article was originally written by Seth Curcio on December 24, 2009.
Off Book is the title of a current exhibition by acclaimed New York based conceptual artist Glenn Ligon. The exhibition, which is on view through January 23rd at Los Angeles’ Regen Projects, continues the artist’s investigation of cultural identity, social and historical constructs, language, race, and gender. Similar to previous exhibitions by the artist, Off Book explores these ideas through text-based work, installation, and video. This new series of works investigate many themes discussed in James Baldwin‘s essay entitled Figure, originally published in 1953. For this series, the artist has silk screened versions of existing text-based paintings onto colored backgrounds, and then dusted the surface with coal particles. The result is a semi-abstracted surface where the test is obscured through the application of the screen print. Also on view is a 16 mm black and white film titled, The Death of Tom, and a neon piece, which features the word AMERICA backwards, titled Rügenfigur.
Ligon’s work has been the focus of several major international exhibitions. The artist’s work was selected by the Obama’s to be on loan at the White House. This inclusion made Ligon the youngest artist ever to receive this honor. Recent solo exhibitions for the artist include, ‘Nobody’ and Other Songs at Thomas Dane Gallery in London and Figure/Paysage/Marine at Yvon Lambert in Paris and Love and Theft at Power House in Memphis. The artist is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Rhode Island School of Art and Design. Ligon lives and works in New York City.