Thursday, June 8, 2017

How Glenn Ligon is using "Black" and "Blue" to begin a dialogue about spirituality

By Hilarie M. Sheets
The artist Glenn Ligon with Ellsworth Kelly’s “Blue Black” at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, where Mr. Ligon has organized an exhibition with the same title. Credit Whitney Curtis for The New York Times
SAINT LOUIS---In the beginning was the word: Fragments of prose by James Baldwin, jokes by Richard Pryor and, later, the testimony of a youth wrongly accused of a crime. All have served as the basis for Glenn Ligon’s series of text paintings and neons exploring race, identity, language and abstraction. Now an Ellsworth Kelly painting, “Blue Black” (2000), has become the departure point for Mr. Ligon’s latest project. At the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, where the 28-foot-tall Kelly work composed of two monochrome aluminum panels painted blue and black is permanently installed, Mr. Ligon's “Blue Black” comprises 54 works by 42 artists, including Mr. Ligon, in what he hopes will be a “noisy” conversation about power dynamics, spirituality and the blues as a state of mind. [More]