Double Mirror, 2015

Triple Canopy is pleased to announce a new edition by Glenn Ligon, published on the occasion of the magazine’s 2015 benefit, which honors choreographer, writer, and visual artist Ralph Lemon. A new print created especially for this occasion, Double Mirror deploys many of the visual tropes and ideas that have defined Ligon’s work since the late 1980s.

In Double Mirror, language is both to be read and to be manipulated. “America” appears at once as the most familiar of proper nouns and as an uncanny construct, one that, Ligon suggests, is continually reproduced and altered, as via printing in this work. Obscuring though not entirely defacing his subject, Ligon stages reading as a deconstructive act, one that implicates the viewer perceptually, semantically, and politically.

Working in a wide variety of media, Ligon explores histories of the United States as well as canonical art histories, reworking familiar figures, narratives, and formal devices to comment on issues of race and identity. Language is central to Ligon’s work, which often contains references to literature and the artist’s personal life. In 2011, Ligon had a midcareer retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Ligon’s neon Rückenfigur (2003), on which this print is based, was included in the Whitney Museum’s inaugural exhibition “America is Hard to See” in 2015. Ligon recently contributed “Notes on a Performance by Kellie Jones” to Passage of a Rumor, Triple Canopy’s new series on how and why we talk about the value and potential acquisition of ephemeral works of art, edited with Lemon.

Ligon’s work is included in numerous permanent collections, including those of Art Institute of Chicago; Baltimore Museum of Art; Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh; Centre Pompidou in Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Guggenheim Museum in New York; Tate Modern in London; and Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.

Special thanks to Luhring Augustine, New York for its generous support.