Glenn Ligon’s works examine how the social and political history of the United States has subtly yet definitively shaped Americans’ identities. Incorporating text from sources as diverse as James Baldwin and Richard Pryor, Ligon uses existing language to explore the value systems and influence of American culture, as well as how broad generalizations of race, gender, and sexuality pervasively affect personal experience. Glenn Ligon follows the development of the artist’s creative process and his choices of both source text and art-making techniques to express his views. This survey exhibition includes his landmark text paintings, sculpture, prints, installations, videos, and mixed-media work, as well as new work commissioned for this project.
Glenn Ligon is co-curated by Wayne Baerwaldt, Director of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, and Thelma Golden, Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programs at the Studio Museum of Harlem, New York. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue containing extensive color reproductions and essays by scholars and authors including Paolo Herkenhoff, Wayne Koestenbaum, Okwui Enwezor, Huey Copeland, and Darby English, as well as an interview with Ligon and documentation on the artist ’s career.