Skip to main content

Untitled by Glenn Ligon

Untitled by Glenn Ligon 
Accession Code: wu0883
Title
: Untitled (If I Can't Have Love, I'll Take Sunshine)
Date completed
: 2006
Classification
: Sculpture
Medium
: Neon
Height
(mm):
381
Width (mm): 1524
Depth (mm):
Inscription:
Location Name: Arts Centre
Location Description: above small front of house office
Location Floor: 1

Quotations from literary sources and other textual statements have been a significant feature of Ligon's art; one of his aims, he says, is to "make language into a physical thing, something that has real weight and force to it".

One of the works from which Ligon borrowed words was the novella Melanctha by Gertrude Stein (1909); he was struck by the phrase 'negro sunshine' which he used in a series of drawings and in a neon piece. In the latter work, the black paint usually applied to the back of the neon tubing, covered the front surface so that the light is reflected onto the wall behind, thus intensifying the message with a halo of brightness. The same technique is used in Untitled (If I Can't Have Love, I'll Take Sunshine) which also echoes the Stein quotation.