Glenn Ligon: AMERICA

Solo en Inglès

This audio guide, introduced by Alice Pratt Brown Director Adam D. Weinberg, highlights a diverse range of works from the exhibition Glenn Ligon: AMERICA. Artist Glenn Ligon, exhibition curator Scott Rothkopf, and Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, provide additional commentary.

Glenn Ligon, Untitled (I Am a Man), 1988

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Narrator: In 1968, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, hundreds of black sanitation workers in Memphis went on strike. Famously, they carried signs reading, “I AM A MAN.” Working twenty years later, Ligon almost exactly replicated those signs in this painting.

We see here a young artist at once working through the legacy of the civil rights movement and boldly declaring that he has found his artistic voice: this was one of Ligon’s earliest paintings to include appropriated text, an exploration that continues to this day.

To hear Glenn Ligon discuss the painting’s cracked surface, press play.

Narrator: In 1968, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, hundreds of black sanitation workers in Memphis went on strike. Famously, they carried signs reading, “I AM A MAN.” Working twenty years later, Ligon almost exactly replicated those signs in this painting.

We see here a young artist at once working through the legacy of the civil rights movement and boldly declaring that he has found his artistic voice: this was one of Ligon’s earliest paintings to include appropriated text, an exploration that continues to this day.

To hear Glenn Ligon discuss the painting’s cracked surface, press play.


Glenn Ligon (b. 1960), _Untitled (I Am a Man)_, 1988. Oil and enamel on canvas. 40 x 25 in. (101.6 x 63.5 cm). Collection of the artist © Glenn Ligon; photograph by Ronald Amstutz