Hauser & Wirth Adds Art Star Glenn Ligon to Its Increasingly Gargantuan Roster

The artist will leave his previous east coast gallery, Luhring Augustine.

Glenn Ligon at the Hammer Museum 16th Annual Gala in the Garden, 2018. Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Hammer Museum.

Mega-gallery Hauser & Wirth has plucked another big-name artist from the competition. Glenn Ligon, the artist known for his trenchant text and neon works, has joined the gallery. Hauser & Wirth’s rapidly swelling roster currently stands at 83 artists and estates, according to our count. 

Ligon will cease working with Luhring Augustine, which has shown his work since 2009, while the artist’s current LA gallery, Regen Projects, will split representation with Hauser & Wirth on the west coast, according to ARTnews. The artist’s European dealer, Thomas Dane, who operates spaces in London and Naples, did not immediately respond to artnet News’s request for comment about its relationship with Ligon. (The move was first reported by the art-world newsletter the Baer Faxt.)

“Glenn is a terrific artist and we are happy to have supported his practice for over a decade,” a representative for Luhring Augustine told artnet News in a statement. “This kind of sustained relationship is what Luhring Augustine is known for and we remain dedicated to our artist roster in providing the same level of deep commitment and support.”

Glenn Ligon, Double America 2 (2014). © Glenn Ligon, courtesy of The Broad.

Glenn Ligon, Double America 2 (2014). © Glenn Ligon, courtesy of The Broad.

Now well into the third decade of his career, Ligon has established himself as one of the most incisive artists of his generation, best known for text-based prints, paintings, and wall-hanging neon sculptures that explore the relationship between race, desire, systems of power, and language.

He’s also one of the most decorated. Ligon has been the subject of dozens of solo gallery and museum shows, including a mid-career retrospective that debuted at the Whitney in 2011, and an installation at the Baltimore Museum of Art in 2017. He was included in consecutive iterations of Whitney Biennial in 1991 and 1993, the Venice Biennale in 1997, documenta in 2007, and has been the recipient of a Guggenheim grant, a Skowhegan Medal, the Studio Museum’s Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, and two different fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

He currently has a new installation on view at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris to complement its exhibition “Black Models: From Géricault to Matisse” (through July 21).

The artist a big get for Hauser & Wirth, which now operates multiple branches across Hong Kong, London, LA, New York, Somerset, St. Moritz, and Zürich. Ligon is the latest in an increasingly long list of artists to be poached by the gallery from smaller dealers, joining names like Zoe Leonard, Charles Gaines, and Amy Sherald.

Plans for Ligon’s first show with his new gallery have not yet been announced. Hauser & Wirth did not respond to artnet News’s request for comment.  

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