Glenn Ligon: Tutto poteva, nella poesia, avere una soluzione / In poetry, a solution to everything

Glenn Ligon: Tutto poteva, nella poesia, avere una soluzione / In poetry, a solution to everything

24 April - 28 July ‘18

Glenn Ligon's first solo exhibition in Italy borrows its title from a line in Pier Paolo Pasolini's poem Ma Era L'Italia Nuda E Formicolante/But It Was a Naked and Swarming Italy, in which he depicts the privations and poetic possibility of the country during the post-war period. In the exhibition, Ligon will feature a new series of silkscreen and ink marker paintings based on abstracted letter forms, two neons which address the Neapolitan setting of the exhibition, and two paintings from his iconic Stranger series, made with oil-stick and coal dust, the text of which he transcribed from James Baldwin's 1953 essay Stranger in the Village.

Unlike most of his other works on canvas, the silkscreen and ink marker paintings, which Ligon will premiere in Naples, do not start with a specific text but with letters as their primary element. To create them the artist used images of his own etchings and stencil- and-ink drawings, creating large scale silkscreens which he then printed on canvas in black etching ink, each screen overlapped to create a dense pattern of letter-based shapes. The resulting paintings, in a logic not dissimilar to Franco-Belgian artist and poet Henri Michaux's, who, in his ink drawings, was seeking a "release from words", and to discover a "new language, spurning the verbal", or Swiss artist Paul Klee's arrangements of letters in his famed Beginning of a Poem (1926), Ligon seeks in his new works an even purer, more abstracted form of expression, which goes beyond language and mere interpretation. In Klee's words: "The genesis of writing is a very good analogy for movement. The artwork too is a form of genesis, it is never experienced as a product."

Two works from the Stranger series are placed in dialogue with his new silkscreen paintings. The text is taken from Baldwin's 1953 essay, which recounts the author's experience of staying in a remote Swiss village while working on a novel. The other inhabitants of the village, many having never seen an African American before, treat him with a distant curiosity, more as an object than a person, which Baldwin likened to the African American experience at home in his native U.S.A. Ligon has rendered the text of the essay in coal dust and oil-stick, pushing the paintings toward abstraction while giving the text a palpable density and weight.

Further works in the exhibition punctuate and reframe Ligon's investigation of language and abstraction while referring to a Neapolitan context. Two neon sculptures, Siete Ospiti (You Are Guests), which transcribes in blue letters a Napoli football fan's banner which was displayed at a rival Bologna game, and Notes for a Poem on the Third World, a large scale piece based on a tracing of the outlines of the artist's hands in black-painted neon and takes its inspiration from an unrealized film project by Pasolini that was to be shot in India, Africa, the Arab countries, Latin America, and the "black ghettoes of the United States." Pasolini claimed that it was the "discovery of the elsewhere" that drove his identification with the struggles of non-Western peoples and people on the margins of the West. Yet Ligon's work posits migration and other forces that have changed the demographic and political trajectories of countries such as Italy, complicating notions of margin and centre, of who "belongs" and who is the "guest."

Thomas Dane Gallery, Via Francesco Crispi, 69, Napoli












Back

 


search

 

 

Quantcast



Archives

September 2018 (5)
August 2018 (8)
July 2018 (11)
June 2018 (11)
May 2018 (13)
April 2018 (11)
March 2018 (12)
February 2018 (12)
January 2018 (18)
December 2017 (8)
November 2017 (15)
October 2017 (17)
September 2017 (14)
August 2017 (18)
July 2017 (10)
June 2017 (12)
May 2017 (12)
April 2017 (15)
March 2017 (15)
February 2017 (22)
January 2017 (13)
December 2016 (9)
November 2016 (14)
October 2016 (11)
September 2016 (19)
August 2016 (13)
July 2016 (11)
June 2016 (16)
May 2016 (19)
April 2016 (17)
March 2016 (9)
February 2016 (15)
January 2016 (14)
December 2015 (7)
November 2015 (15)
October 2015 (12)
September 2015 (5)
August 2015 (12)
July 2015 (16)
June 2015 (9)
May 2015 (15)
April 2015 (11)
March 2015 (16)
February 2015 (14)
January 2015 (14)
December 2014 (13)
November 2014 (15)
October 2014 (18)
September 2014 (14)
August 2014 (10)
July 2014 (14)
June 2014 (13)
May 2014 (22)
April 2014 (12)
March 2014 (12)
February 2014 (16)
January 2014 (19)
December 2013 (14)
November 2013 (175)
October 2013 (17)
September 2013 (20)
August 2013 (15)
July 2013 (6)
June 2013 (14)
May 2013 (17)
April 2013 (17)
March 2013 (16)
February 2013 (14)
January 2013 (16)
December 2012 (8)
November 2012 (20)
October 2012 (22)
September 2012 (17)
August 2012 (17)
July 2012 (22)
June 2012 (13)
May 2012 (20)
April 2012 (16)
March 2012 (28)
February 2012 (15)
January 2012 (17)
December 2011 (34)
November 2011 (24)
October 2011 (14)
September 2011 (39)
August 2011 (39)
July 2011 (35)
June 2011 (22)
May 2011 (22)
April 2011 (23)
March 2011 (18)
February 2011 (20)
January 2011 (37)
December 2010 (40)
November 2010 (41)
October 2010 (31)
September 2010 (96)
August 2010 (36)
July 2010 (35)
June 2010 (83)
May 2010 (167)
April 2010 (42)
March 2010 (68)
February 2010 (40)
January 2010 (66)
December 2009 (60)
November 2009 (38)
October 2009 (69)
September 2009 (66)
August 2009 (49)
July 2009 (55)
June 2009 (55)
May 2009 (65)
April 2009 (55)
March 2009 (68)
February 2009 (54)
January 2009 (62)
December 2008 (51)
November 2008 (43)
October 2008 (72)
September 2008 (89)
August 2008 (56)
July 2008 (77)
June 2008 (67)
May 2008 (65)
April 2008 (26)
March 2008 (22)