OCTOBER 22, 2000-MARCH 11, 2001
COLORING: NEW WORK BY GLENN LIGON
Exhibition
GALLERY 7



   
Glenn Ligon has been internationally recognized for paintings and prints that use language as both image and communication tool. He often addresses issues of race, culture, and identity by quoting from socially and politically charged material, including excerpts from the writings of James Baldwin, Richard Dyer, and Zora Neale Hurston; appropriated news photos of the 1995 Million Man March; and title pages from 19th-century slave narratives. He has consistently mined this cultural material for greater meaning and historical revelation.

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For Coloring: New Work by Glenn Ligon, his first solo exhibition at the Walker, the artist has created new work that draws on an era of continuing personal fascination: 1970s America. It was a time of burgeoning racial consciousness among African Americans, whose new self-awareness reverberated in numerous everyday cultural manifestations. Ligon has chosen images from mass-produced, black-themed coloring books of the early 1970s and reproduced them as large-scale silkscreens on canvas. His use of vibrant colors in these works is a startling change for an artist known mostly for his black-and-white compositions.

These works continue Ligon's investigation of language and appropriated images mediated by historical context. In his alphabet series, "B" invokes "bee, butterfly, bad (ba-a-d), and brothers." Similarly, the images range from a pensive Malcolm X and gold-chained Isaac Hayes to a young African girl and a group of children playing basketball. These everyday representations of black life are intricately connected to the Civil Rights and Black Power movements that foreshadowed them and suggest an insertion of black people into the greater American and world history.

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Also on view in the exhibition are the results of Ligon's collaboration with young children in the Twin Cities area. During the summer of 2000, he made coloring sheets from the appropriated images and joined area children in coloring sessions. He is interested in the ways young children respond to images and words. This collaboration with Twin Cities community members was an unexpected, serendipitous follow-up to his earlier residency, during which Ligon worked with the Walker's Teen Arts Council to produce artworks based on the museum's permanent collection.

Ligon is represented by several works in the Walker's permanent collection, including the recently acquired coal-dust painting Untitled (Stranger in the Village #16) (2000). He was included in the 2000 Kwangju Biennial, and has had solo exhibitions at several museums, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

IMAGES THIS PAGE: Selections of Glenn Ligon's source material from 1970s coloring books courtesy the artist.


RELATED EVENTS

FREE TOUR
COLORING: NEW WORK BY GLENN LIGON

SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 2001, 2 PM
On this free tour, get an in-depth look at the ways the artist mines cultural material--specifically, mass-produced, black-themed coloring books--for greater meaning and historical revelation. Meet in the lobby.


FEBRUARY EVENTS

FREE TOURS
COLORING: NEW WORK BY GLENN LIGON

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2001, 2 PM
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2001, 2 PM
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2001, 2 PM
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2001, 2 PM
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2001, 2 PM
On this free tour, get an in-depth look at the ways the artist mines cultural material--specifically, mass-produced, black-themed coloring books--for greater meaning and historical revelation. Meet in the lobby.

FREE FIRST SATURDAY
HEROES AND HEADLINERS
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2001, 11 AM-4 PM
Explore coloring-book portraits of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, and George Washington Carver in the exhibition Coloring: New Work by Glenn Ligon.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH
COMMUNITY CONVERSATION: RE-COLORING AMERICAN HISTORY
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2001, 7:30 PM, FREE, Gallery 7
Join John Wright, Associate Professor of Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Minnesota, in a conversation about the revolutionary spirit of the 1960s and 1970s, its impact on American art and culture particularly as represented in the exhibition Coloring: New Work by Glenn Ligon and the state of today's struggle.

SUNDAY FUN
COLOR ME VALENTINE
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2001, 1-2:30 PM
$8 ($4 WALKER MEMBERS)
Come to Sunday Fun with someone you love and discover oversized coloring book-inspired paintings in the exhibition Coloring: New Work by Glenn Ligon. In the Art Lab, express yourself by making an extra-large Valentine's Day alphabet coloring book. Led by Walker Family Programs Manager Dara Sepkoski.


JANUARY EVENTS


FREE TOUR
COLORING: NEW WORK BY GLENN LIGON

THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 2001, 6 PM
For his first solo exhibition at the Walker, Glenn Ligon has created new work that draws on an era of continuing personal fascination: 1970s America. On this free tour, get an in-depth look at the ways the artist mines cultural material--specifically, mass-produced, black-themed coloring books--for greater meaning and historical revelation. Meet in the lobby.

WALKER AFTER HOURS
WITHIN THE LINES

FRIDAY, JANUARY 12, 2001, 5:30-9 PM
$14 ($7 WALKER MEMBERS)
Experience the work of Brooklyn-based artist Glenn Ligon in his solo exhibition Coloring: New Work by Glenn Ligon.


NOVEMBER EVENTS

OPEN MONDAYS TEACHER WORKSHOP
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2000, 4-6 PM
$8 PER WORKSHOP ($6 WALKER MEMBERS); FREE FOR FIRST-YEAR TEACHERS
This workshop just for teachers offer ways to explore the Walker's exhibitions and integrate contemporary art into the curriculum. To register, call the Walker box office at 612.375.7622.


OCTOBER EVENTS

EXHIBITION PREVIEW PARTY
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2000, 5:30-7:30 PM
$14 ($7 WALKER MEMBERS)
CONFERENCE ROOM
Be among the first to see this engaging new exhibition. Hors d'oeuvres and cocktails will be served. For tickets, call the Walker box office at 612.375.7622 or purchase tickets online.


OPENING-DAY DIALOGUE
GLENN LIGON AND WAYNE KOESTENBAUM

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2000, 2 PM
$6 ($3 WALKER MEMBERS)
AUDITORIUM
Ligon will be joined in dialogue by New York-based poet-critic Wayne Koestenbaum. Expect eloquence and creative insights as artist and friend discuss art, culture, and the 1970s.


IN THE WALKER ART CENTER SHOPS

A Walker-produced catalogue on Ligon's new work features full-color reproductions and essays by co-curator Olukemi Ilesanmi and poet-critic Wayne Koestenbaum. Softcover: $12.95 ($11.66 Walker members)..


COLORING: NEW WORK BY GLENN LIGON IS MADE POSSIBLE BY GENEROUS SUPPORT FROM THE PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS AND TARGET STORES.