Throughout his career, the artist Glenn Ligon (b. 1960) has been deeply engaged with the written word: his artworks are full of painted, drawn, sculpted, photographed, and printed text. In recent years, Ligon has also emerged as a prolific writer. His articles and critical essays have appeared in exhibition catalogues and leading art magazines and range from trenchant reviews to introspective musings on his own art and life experience.
Edited by Scott Rothkopf, who provides an introduction to Ligon's written corpus, this impressive volume begins with the artist's first major essay, a superbly crafted text written in 2004 about the artist David Hammons and his relationship to a younger generation of black artists. In all, ten essays and twelve interviews are included, all of which demonstrate Ligon's straightforward exposition, ironic asides, knowing pop references, literary citations, and clever turns of phrase. This volume will be an indispensible reader to all those interested in contemporary art and culture.