Glenn Ligon American, b. 1960




Glenn Ligon, born in 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.


 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.


 He lives and works in New York.