%C2%A9 Glenn Ligon

Untitled [A], 1992

Not on Viewexpand_more

Glenn Ligon mines African American cultural and social history to establish themes for his politically-infused art. From slave narratives to the "Million Man March" on Washington, D.C., he uses the past to shed light on what it means to be black in present-day America. In this untitled portfolio of etchings, Ligon addresses the issue of lingering racism in America by appropriating passages from the published works of two renowned black authors. The prints with black text on white paper feature excerpts from Zora Neale Hurston's 1928 essay "How It Feels to Be Colored Me." Ligon explains, "The prints play with the notion of becoming 'colored' and how that 'becoming' obscures meaning and also created this beautiful, abstract thing." Though more difficult to discern, the prints with black text on black paper feature an excerpt from Ralph Ellison's 1952 novel "Invisible Man," which describes blacks in America as ghosts, present and real, but remaining unseen because of pervasive racism. Together, the four prints symbolically represent the continued social, economic, and political separation of the races.

Untitled [A]
Artist Life
born 1960
Accession Number
(G. W. Einstein, Inc., New York); sold to MIA, 1993.
Curator Approved

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© Glenn Ligon

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