Mostly, though, paint functions as a medium of resistance for Ligon; it occludes visibility and threatens form. Nowhere is such deletion more explicit than in Untitled (Cancelation Prints) (1992 and 2003), where a flesh-coloured ‘X’ overtakes the entire white image field, demarcating the distance between the construct of whiteness and the pinkness of most European skin. This obliterating impulse equally manifests in Self-Portrait, the inky, black surface of which is visibly scratched and gouged. Such signs of refusal emphasize how Ligon’s numerous self-portraits are invariably exercises in effacement and retraction. – Leora Maltz-Leca
See more works by Glenn Ligon here.