9 June - 7 October 2017
The Pulitzer Arts Foundation presents Blue Black, an exhibition guest-curated by influential American artist Glenn Ligon. With more than 50 works ranging from abstraction, to portraiture, to “outsider art,” experimental film, textiles, and more – and including examples by Ligon – Blue Black explores a multiplicity of meanings and uses of the two colors. These include their deployment as discrete formal elements, their role as complex evocations of race, identity, and power, and their association with music, among other meanings and allusions. In so doing, the exhibition resists fixed interpretations, instead enlisting color to pose timely and nuanced questions.
The final gallery of Blue Black illuminates numerous points of connection among a diversity of works. One wall is devoted to figurative art, with Kara Walker’s large-scale Four Idioms on Negro Art #1 Folk (2015), Malcolm Bailey’s Untitled, 1969 (1969); Ligon’s Malcolm X, Sun, Frederick Douglass, Boy With Bubbles (version 2) #2 (2001); and two of Jean Michel Basquiat’s paintings from the series To Repel Ghosts (1986), which evoke the figure through text.
Image: Kara Walker, Four Idioms on Negro Art #1 Folk (2015)
Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
Edmund Hayes Fund, by exchange and Sherman S. Jewett Fund, by exchange, 2016