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All Quotes by author - Glenn Ligon
" A lot of my work is about text taken to the point of abstraction. "
" Artists such as Lorna Simpson, Zoe Leonard, Byron Kim and Stephen Andrews and I are around the same age, and I know them personally. The discussions I have had with them over the years have influenced the work that I have made throughout my career. "
" Art points to things. It's a way of giving people not the standard way of looking at the world. "
" Claudia Rankine's book-length poem 'Citizen' was nominated for National Book Critics Circle awards in the categories of poetry and criticism. It is one of the most devastating takes on American culture I have read in a long time, laying bare the stakes of being black in a country long ambivalent about our presence here. "
" I don't cook, and I don't care to, but Gabrielle Hamilton made me realize that food is about love and connection. And she has had a hell of an interesting life. "
" I don't know if I would describe myself as a political artist. "
" If something sticks with me for a long time, it goes into a painting. "
" I graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in art. I was really headed toward an architecture degree, but when I did the requirements for the major, I realized I was more interested in how people live in buildings than in making buildings. I was more interested in the interactions that happened inside the structures. "
" I like having a studio to go to. It's like having a job. "
" I love Monk's song, 'Just a Gigolo.' It's probably a minor song for him, but whenever I hear a recording of him playing it, I'm mesmerized because Monk clearly loved pop music. He took it very seriously and made an amazing thing out of it. "
" I'm a formalist. I'm interested in the history of painting. "
" I make art to figure out what I'm thinking, not to tell people what I think. "
" I'm interested in when language fails, when it is opaque. "
" I'm not an Abstraction Expressionist, but I think dedication to paintings comes from an early interest in that work. "
" In 2011, 'Yourself in the World,' a book of my writings and interviews, was published in conjunction with a retrospective of my work at the Whitney Museum of American Art. "
" In '89, I got a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. That's when I started to get into group shows. Suddenly, I sort of 'came out' as an artist. "
" In writing, something is always left out: it can't be articulated in the space of an essay. "
" I really don't have a clear trajectory at all. "
" Literature has been a treacherous site for black Americans because literary production has been so tied with the project of proving our humanity through the act of writing. "
" Obama is the first African-American president, and for some people, that means a great deal, and for some people, it means very little. "
" Sol LeWitt had a huge influence on my work because of his use of repetition and his clarity, setting up a system and letting that system go. That's kind of where the text paintings came from. "
" The public schools in our neighborhood were so bad that the teachers in the school said you shouldn't send your kids here. My mother called around and found a school that was willing to give both me and my brother scholarship money. It's a classic story about black parents wanting more for their kids than they had for themselves. "
" There is an imagined thing called black culture. But culture is a construction. It is learned behavior, not innate. The black American experience is the American experience. "
" There was a time when I was a huge TV addict. I used to race home from school to watch 'Dark Shadows.' "
" Throughout African-American literature, the writer has, in a sense, been burdened by the necessity of pleading the case for the whole race. For example, writers of slave narratives tend to lose their individual voices, as they were expected to stand in for all other voices, which were absent. "
" What I realized is that my interest in literature has more deeply structured my practice than I thought. "
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