Glenn Ligon Exhibition

Rat Hole Gallery

poster for Glenn Ligon Exhibition

This event has ended.

The exhibition will present a suite of new paintings, neon sculptures, and drawings, and marks the first time for Ligon's work to be shown in Japan.

Born in 1960 in the Bronx, New York, Glenn Ligon has an artistic practice that encompasses painting, neon, printmaking, photography, installation, and video. Reflecting social and personal histories, Ligon’s work often addresses issues of race, sexuality, and identity, while building critically on the legacies of modern painting and conceptual art. Engaging in an acute investigation of American history and culture, Ligon uses text, language, and imagery from a wide range of sources, from the literary works of writers such as James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, and Gertrude Stein, to stand-up comedy routines, children’s coloring books, and slave narratives.

The large-scale text paintings in the exhibition are from Ligon's "Stranger" series, which draws on excerpts from James Baldwin’s 1953 essay "Stranger in the Village" about the author's experience as an African-American visiting a small village in Switzerland. These paintings are flocked with layers of coal dust, which add texture and glitter to the canvas, as well an element of contrast and contradiction between the beauty of coal dust as a black shiny material in relation to it being a waste product leftover from coal processing.

The exhibition will also feature several small-scale drawings produced with oil stick and coal dust, which repeat the phrase "negro sunshine", a fragment of text from Gertude Stein's 1909 novel "Three Lives".

[Image: Glenn Ligon, "Double America" (2012) Neon and paint, 91.4 x 304.8 cm (36 x 120 in.) © Glenn Ligon, courtesy of the artist]



From 2013-03-29 To 2013-06-30

Opening Reception on 2013-03-29


Glenn Ligon



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