Glenn Ligon  (American, 1960) 

Glenn Ligon (American, b.1960) is a Bronx-born multimedia Conceptual artist, best known for his textual paintings that explore the history of race and sexuality in America. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design and received a BA from Wesleyan University in 1982, and in 1985 participated in the Whitney Independent Studies program. Ligon’s early career was in Abstract Art, but progressed to Conceptual ideas in the late 1980s when he began to create his famous textual paintings. In these paintings, Ligon uses repetition of text taken from well-known writers such as Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, and Richard Pryor to tell visual stories of sexuality, race, and identity. The majority of Ligon’s work focuses of African American identity, and more recently, interracial gay sex. In the early 1990s Ligon expanded his oeuvre into Installation Art, with his breakthrough piece Notes on the Margin of the Black Book (1991–1993). He has participated in numerous shows across America and around the world, such as the Biennale of Sydney and Venice in 1996 and 1997. Since 1989, he has achieved multiple fellowships, grants, and residencies, such as the National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowships, for both drawing and painting. He acquired residencies at the Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy, in 1994, and another in 1998, at ArtPace International, in San Antonio, TX. Ligon was also awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant in 1997 and the Skowhegen Medal for Painting in 2006. He lives and works in New York.

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Artworks for sale (9)

Glenn Ligon, Untitled (from Exit Art)


Glenn Ligon
Untitled (from Exit Art)

Auction: Apr 28, 2014
Phillips New York
View Details | entire auction
Glenn Ligon, Negro Sunshine


Glenn Ligon
Negro Sunshine

Galerie Maximillian
Glenn Ligon, Dispatches


Glenn Ligon

Galerie Maximillian
Glenn Ligon, Untitled


Glenn Ligon
Hamburg Kennedy Photographs
Glenn Ligon, Warm Broad Glow (Reversed)


Glenn Ligon
Warm Broad Glow (Reversed)

Dubner Moderne
Glenn Ligon, Draft


Glenn Ligon

Dubner Moderne
Glenn Ligon, Warm Broad Glow (Reversed)


Glenn Ligon
Warm Broad Glow (Reversed)

Greg Kucera Gallery
Glenn Ligon, UNTITLED


Glenn Ligon

Greg Kucera Gallery
Glenn Ligon, UNTITLED


Glenn Ligon

Greg Kucera Gallery
Past auction results (151)  View All
Glenn Ligon, Study for negro sunshine #41


Glenn Ligon
Study for negro sunshine #41, 2010
oil stick and coal dust on paper


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Glenn Ligon, Study for negro sunshine #47


Glenn Ligon
Study for negro sunshine #47, 2010
oil stick and coal dust on paper


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Glenn Ligon, Warm Broad Glow (reversed)


Glenn Ligon
Warm Broad Glow (reversed), 2007
prints and multiples, aquatint, photogravure


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1960   Born: Bronx, NY
1980   Attended Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
1982   B.A., Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
1985   Participated in Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York, NY
  Lives and works in New York, NY
2013   Revelations - Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, ON S
Word And Image - Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH
We Hold These Truths ... - Hofstra University Museum, Hempstead, NY
Don't Be Shy, Don't Hold Back - The Logan Collection At Sfmoma - San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA
Nyc 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash And No Star - New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City, NY
The Unphotographable - Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2012   Glenn Ligon: Neon - Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York City, NY
Glenn Ligon: America - The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX
Taboo - Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney - MCA, Sydney, NSW
Group Exhibition - Senior & Shopmaker Gallery, New York City, NY
Blues For Smoke - The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CA
Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art - Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Denver, CO
Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY
2011   Glenn Ligon: America, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Glenn Ligon: AMERICA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art - LACMA, Los Angeles, CA
Nothing in the World But Youth - Turner Contemporary, Margate, Kent
Carolina Collects: 150 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art from Alumni Collections - Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, NC
Performance and Performativity in Contemporary Art - Kemper Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO
Distant Star - kurimanzutto, Mexico City
Distant Star - Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA
Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories - The Contemporary Jewish Museum San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
2010   Glenn Ligon: Neither Here nor There - Stevenson, Cape Town
Painting and Sculpture - Lehmann Maupin, New York City, NY
Storytellers - Passages - Centre d'art contemporain, Troyes
Huckleberry Finn - CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CA
Minima Moralia - Marvelli Gallery, New York City, NY
Picture Industry (Goodbye to All That) - Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA
Afro Modern. Journeys through the Black Atlantic - CGAC - Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela
2009   Off Book - Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA
Glenn Ligon - Thomas Dane Gallery, London (England)
FAX - Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Beg Borrow and Steal - Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL
Prints from Lincoln Center / List Art Collection - Wave Hill, New York City, NY
30 Seconds off an Inch - The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City, NY
Trail Blazers in the 21st Century: Contemporary Prints and Photographs published by Exit Art - Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, NJ
Wordscapes: Text as Image in Contemporary Art - The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
2008   The Wizard of Oz, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CA
Provocative Visions: Race and Identity—Selections from the Permanent Collection - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY
New Prints 2008/ Summer - International Print Center New York, New York City, NY
Black is Black ain't - The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Intimacy - The Fireplace Project, East Hampton, NY
You & Me, Sometimes... - Lehmann Maupin, New York City, NY
2007   Sparkle Then Fade, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, Washington, Sparkle Then Fade, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, Washington
Mario Testino: At Home, Yvon Lambert, New York, NY
What is Painting? Contemporary Art from the Collection, Museum of Modern Art, NY
Substance & Surface, Bortolami Gallery, New York, NY
Glenn Ligon, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA
Contemporary Art from the Harvard University Art Museums Collections, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard, Cambridge, MA
Repicturing the Past/Picturing the Present, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Lines, Grids, Stains, Words, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Art Unlimited, Regen Projecst at Art Basel 38, Switzerland
Art in America, Now, Museum of Contemporary Art, ShanHai, China
Paper: from the collection of Emily Fisher Landau, curated By Bill Katz, The Fisher Landau Center for Art, Long Island, New York, NY
Remix Identity and Abstraction, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
Learn to Read [working title], curated by Vincent Honoré and Maeve Polkinhorn, Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom
Novel Readings, curated by Florencia Malbrán, Bard Center for Curatorial Studies, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, NY
Fast Forward: Contemporary Collections for the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas; cat.
2006   Glenn Ligon: Brilliant Corners, Thomas Dane Gallery, London, England
We Had Everything Before Us, We Had Nothing Before Us, Yvon Lambert, Paris, France (solo)
Glenn Ligon, Grossman Gallery at Lafayette College, Easton, PA
Defamation of Character, organized by Neville Wakefield, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York
Voodoo Macbeth, curated by David A. Bailey, De La Warr Pavilion, East Sussex, England
Yes Bruce Nauman, Zwirner & Wirth, New York, NY
Gifts go in one direction, curated by Alexander Nagel, apexart, New York, NY
SUBJECT, Lyman Allyn Museum, New London, Connecticut
Invitational Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
Dark Places, Santa Monica Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles, CA
Skin Is a Language, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York
2005   A Brief History of Invisible Art, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CA, Linkages and Themes in the African Diaspora, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA
Looking at Words: The Formal Presence of Text in Modern Contemporary Works on Paper, conceived by Barbaralee Diamonstein- Spielvogel, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY
Glenn Ligon: Some Changes, The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada; travels to the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX; The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio; Belkin Art Galery, Vancouver, Canada; Mudam – Foundation Musee d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg; catalogue
Collective Histories / Collective Memories: California Modern, Orange County Museum of Modern Art, Newport Beach, CA
Drawing from the Modern, 1975 - 2005, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
ROMANCE (a novel), curated by Adriano Pedrosa, Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art, Lisbon, Portugal; cat.
A Thousand Words, Inman Gallery, Houston, Texas
Getting Emotional, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts
Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, organized by Valerie Cassel Oliver
2004   Open House, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, curated by Nancy Spector
Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self, International Center of Photography, New York, NY, curated by Coco Fusco and Brian Wallis; travels to Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Supernova, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
2003   Going There, DAmelio Terras, New York, NY
Annotations, Dia Center for the Arts, New York, NY, online project
Fast Forward: Twenty Years of White Rooms, White Columns, New York, NY (catalogue)
Stranger in the Village, Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY, organized by the Museum of Modern Art, NY
Influence, Anxiety, and Gratitude (Toward and understanding of trans-generational dialogue as a gift economy), MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, curated by Bill Arning
2002   LIFE DEATH LOVE HATE PLEASURE PAIN: Selected works from the MCA Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Drawings of Choice from a New York Collection, Krannert Art Museum University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, curated by Joself Helfenstein: traveled to Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR; Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA; Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME; Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH.
Recent Acquisitions, Fonds Régional d¹Art Contemporain, Reims, France
Documenta XI, Kassel, Germany, curated by Okwui Enwezor
Glenn Ligon, Anthony Meier Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA
2001   Colored, D¹Amelio Terras, New York
Portraits and Not-Portraits, Kunstverein Munich, Germany
Stranger, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (catalogue)
2000   Coloring: New Work, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (catalogue)
Currents 81, St. Louis Art Museum St. Louis, MO
Points of Reference, Fredrick Hayes, Addison Gallery of American Art Andover, MA
Good Business is the Best Art, The Bronx Museum of Art New York, NY
1999   The American Century: Art and Culture 1900-2000, , Whitney Museum of American Art New York, NY
Other Narratives: Fifteen Years, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, TX
Contemporary Narratives in American Prints, , Whitney Museum of American Art at Champion Stamford, CT
1998   Núcleo Historico, XXIV Bienal de Sao Paulo Sao Paulo, Brazil
Glenn Ligon: Unbecoming, University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
Glenn Ligon, ArtPace San Antonio, TX
1997   Glenn Ligon: Day of Absence, Ezra and Cecile Zikha Gallery Middletown, CT
Coming of Age, White Columns New York, NY
Sunny Days/Critical Times, The Bohen Foundation New York, NY
1996   The Evidence of Things Not Seen: Drawings by Glenn Ligon, Brooklyn Museum of Art Brooklyn, NY
1995   Photos and Notes, Max Protetch Gallery New York, NY
Skin Tight, MIT List Visual Arts Center Cambridge, MA
In The Flesh, Aldrich Museum of American Art Ridgefield, CT
Fag-o-Sites, Gallery 400 Chicago, IL
1994   Duchamp's Leg, Walker Art Center Minneapolis, MN
New Paintings, Max Protetch Gallery New York, NY
Project Room, Ruth Blum Gallery Santa Monica, CA
1993   White, Max Protetch Gallery New York, NY
Good Mirrors Are Not Cheap, Whitney Museum of American Art at Phillip Morris New York, NY
1992   Glenn Ligon, Max Protetch Gallery New York, NY
1991   Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Musuem of American Art New York, NY
1985   Open Studio, Whitney Musuem Independant Study Program New York, NY
2001    Firstenberg, Lauri. 'Neo-Archival and Textual Strategies: An Interview with Glenn Ligon.' Art Journal Spring 2001: 42 - 47.
2001    Koestenbaum, Wayne. 'Color Me Glenn.' Coloring. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Walker Art Center, 2001.
1999    English, Darby. 'Question Marks and Futures Already Alive: Glenn Ligon and Kara Walker, Together for the First Time.' New York: Brent Sikkema Gallery. December, 1999.
1998    Golden, Thelma. 'Everynight.' Unbecoming. Philadelphia: Institute of Contempory Art, 1998.
1998    Cotter, Holland. 'Stories About Race, Politics, and Himself.' New York Times December 2, 1998. 48-49.