Glenn Ligon: America, at the Whitneyhttp://www.thirteen.org/sundayarts/blog/museums/glenn-ligon-america-at-the-whitney/1093/
This self-searching, or broader cultural, introspection and concentration on language could be overwhelmingly intellectual, except that it is expressed in Ligon’s breathtaking technique. Phrases repeat down a door-sized panel or horizontal canvas, pooling into dense heaps at the bottom and thereby shedding meaning, or alternately accruing into an overwhelming din. In an anti-Warholian stroke, he incorporates coal (rather than diamond) dust for a scumbled minerality. However, his unstretched, tacked-up silkscreened canvases of the Million Man March, or his cannily unrevealing self-portraits, have the practiced perfection of Warhol’s Factory best. His sculptures show a deft mix of pop and substance. Crates with soundtracks evoke the slave who mailed himself to freedom in the 1800s, and he presents neon “America” signs: one plain white, one muffled in black paint, and a third with some letters that read backwards. Like Ligon’s body of work, you can parse their meanings in depth, and/or appreciate their form and craft. Depends on how much time you have.