Kenyon College

Palindrome #1


Glenn Ligon (b. 1960)

Palindrome #1. 2007.


8 x 105 inches.

Courtesy of the Artist and Luhring Augustine, New York City 


Best known for his provocative text paintings, Bronx-based artist Glenn Ligon questions the many identities we assume in a constantly shifting socio-political world. In Palindrome #1, white neon words cast shadows and illuminate a message in simple script. Ligon speaks directly to the viewer through this piece, challenging his audience to confront our pre-existing perceptions of domestic identity and place in society. The phrase “face me, I face you,” refers to a style of low-rent Nigerian housing where a cluster of bedroom entrances all face each other. The reference asks us to consider how the politics of space governs our social and racial interactions.


Glenn Ligon studied at The Rhode Island School of Design, Wesleyan University and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program.  He has been exhibiting his work since 1982, and was included in both the prestigious 1991 and 1993 Whitney Biennial exhibitions. He is a recipient of numerous grants including a National Endowment for the Arts Artists Fellowship Grant.


Claire Buss ’12
Post-Baccalaureate Curatorial Intern