04/02/2022 - 02/04/2022

Early C21st - Mixed Medium

Glenn Ligon - An Open Letter

"Their reading doesn’t open up through metaphors. They aren’t ‘like’ anything; the paintings’ meaning comes from thinking about language and how it fails to express." - Stephen Andrews in conversation with the artist.

An artist versed in language and fluent in the art of quotation, Glenn Ligon’s inspiration and sources over the last three decades have ranged from high literature to stand-up comedy, from a single aphorism to an entire essay.

He has abstracted the grandeur of James Baldwin’s essay Stranger in the Village in stencilled black and white paintings, rendered the words “negro sunshine” by Gertrude Stein in black-painted neon, and transcribed the off-colour routines of Richard Pryor into text paintings, highlighting the social and political value systems that give these texts meaning and how they are altered or underscored through the work.


St James's 11 Duke St, SW1Y 6BN