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Warm Broad Glow

© Glenn Ligon. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.

Warm Broad Glow

Artist: Glenn Ligon (Born in Bronx, New York, 1960)
Culture: American
Date: 2005
Medium: Neon and paint
Dimensions:
4 x 48 inches (10.2 x 121.9 cm)
State: 1
Edition: 7 (+2AP)
Classification: Sculpture
Credit Line: Gift of Blake Byrne, T'57
Label Text:Primarily known for paintings with a black text on a white background and words that become increasingly smudged and illegible, Glenn Ligon uses literary content that especially refers to race, sex, and identity. The title of Warm Broad Glow, together with the phrase “negro sunshine,” comes from “Melanctha,” the second story in the American poet and novelist Gertrude Stein’s first book Three Lives (1909). Stein tells the tale of Rose Johnson, a “real black negress,” who had been raised as a white child and, thus, did not have “the wide, abandoned laughter that makes the warm broad glow of negro sunshine.” In this work, the first he realized in neon tubing, Ligon selected white neon with a reflective yellow glow and painted the front of this neon tubing black in order to emphasize the radiance, or glow, of African American identity. Ligon asks viewers to question the stereotype of Stein’s caricature of black identity. KS
Object number: 2017.4.22