Untitled: Four Etchings [A]
On View In:
Gallery 374
Artist:   Glenn Ligon
Printed by Greg Burnet, New York
Published by Max Protech Gallery, New York  
Title:   Untitled: Four Etchings [A]  
Date:   1992  
Medium:   Etching with soft-ground, aquatint, spitbite, and sugar lift  
Dimensions:   23 1/2 x 15 7/8 in. (59.69 x 40.32 cm) (plate) 25 x 17 1/2 in. (63.5 x 44.45 cm) (sheet)  
Credit Line:   Gift of the Print and Drawing Council  
Location:   Gallery 374  

Glenn Ligon mines African American cultural and social history to establish themes for his politically-infused art. From slave narratives to the "Million Man March" on Washington, D.C., he uses the past to shed light on what it means to be black in present-day America. In this untitled portfolio of etchings, Ligon addresses the issue of lingering racism in America by appropriating passages from the published works of two renowned black authors. The prints with black text on white paper feature excerpts from Zora Neale Hurston's 1928 essay "How It Feels to Be Colored Me." Ligon explains, "The prints play with the notion of becoming 'colored' and how that 'becoming' obscures meaning and also created this beautiful, abstract thing." Though more difficult to discern, the prints with black text on black paper feature an excerpt from Ralph Ellison's 1952 novel "Invisible Man," which describes blacks in America as ghosts, present and real, but remaining unseen because of pervasive racism. Together, the four prints symbolically represent the continued social, economic, and political separation of the races.

Name:   Ligon, Glenn  
Role:   Maker  
Life Dates:   American, born 1960  
Name:   Max Protech Gallery, New York  
Role:   Publisher  
Name:   Greg Burnet, New York  
Role:   Printer  

Object Description  
Inscriptions:   Signature, Date, Edition  
Classification:   Prints  
Creation Place:   North America, United States, , ,  
Edition:   Edition of 45, plus 10 AP  
Accession #:   P.93.17.1  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts