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Untitled by Glenn Ligon

Untitled by Glenn Ligon 
Accession Code: wu0883
: Untitled (If I Can't Have Love, I'll Take Sunshine)
Date completed
: 2006
: Sculpture
: Neon
Width (mm): 1524
Depth (mm):
Location Name: Picture Store
Location Description:
Location Floor: 

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.