Artists Glenn Ligon and Gillian Wearing on Making Paintings in a Post-Truth World

Glenn Ligon, Redacted #1, 2023. Image courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects.

Born three years apart, in the Bronx and Birmingham, U.K., respectively, Glenn Ligon and Gillian Wearing have shaped and shifted the conventions around conceptual art since coming to prominence in the ‘90s. Awarded the prestigious Turner Prize in 1997, Wearing has worked across the realms of video, photography, and painting to stage disorienting interventions that probe the confines of an “authentic” life. Most associated with his text-based works that re-surface and abstract the words of figures like Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Jean Genet, and Richard Pryor, Ligon unspools and annotates the racial, cultural, and linguistic constructions that mold collective and personal identities.

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