Glenn Ligon's Debris Field II at the Met Fifth Avenue

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Metropolitan Museum of Art

Wordplay: Matthias Buchinger’s Drawings from the Collection of Ricky Jay

January 8-April 11, 2016

From the related essay on text in art by Jennifer Farrell:

By contrast, Ligon pushes letters to the point of abstraction in Debris Field II (2015.631); letters created in tones of black and gray are scattered across the surface and, despite their stenciled forms, lack uniformity in tone, finish, and structure. Unlike earlier work, the letters do not derive from a quotation and instead bring to mind things that are left over such as thoughts that remain after a text is written or words unspoken, an effect amplified by their proximity to seemingly randomly placed smudges, scrapes, and stains. By removing meaning and order, Ligon examines how letters and language function when emptied out and used purely as image.



Greg Burnet