Glenn Ligon Death of Tom, 2008 view 1 No. 63027

PACE GALLERY IS PRESENTING a few of Adrienne Edwards’s “favorite things.” It’s how the curator describes works by black contemporary artists about whom she writes and has a social and intellectual connection, and modern standouts with whom she has been “obsessed” over the course of her academic and professional career. A veteran curator at Performa and a recently appointed curator at-large, visual arts at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Edwards is a Ph.D. candidate in performance studies at New York University. Her dissertation inspired the group exhibition at Pace, which considers blackness in abstraction.

Bringing together the likes of Adam Pendleton, Ellen Gallagher, Terry Adkins, Lorraine O’Grady (top image), Carrie Mae Weems, and Fred Wilson, with Louise Nevelson, Robert Rauschenberg, Sol Lewitt, Fred Sandback, and Ad Reinhardt, among others, the show examines the power of the color black as an evocative force that spans mediums. It explores its persistent presence in art over the past 75 years, and its expressive, theatrical, and symbolic possibilities. It’s a unique show in many respects—its concept, venue, and mix of 29 artists.

_PG-Adrienne Edwards-Headshot-photo credit Whitney BrowneIn advance of the show’s June 23 opening, Edwards (right) spoke with Culture Type about how “Blackness in Abstraction” came to be, the concepts behind the exhibition, some of the artists she selected and how their works utilize blackness.

CULTURE TYPE: The title of the exhibition Blackness in Abstraction naturally conjures the concept of black identity and representing it in abstraction, but that is not necessarily what you are trying to do. You are trying to get away from an analysis of the black artist as a subject and consider how the color black performs in art. Yet, one of the things you write in the exhibition catalog is that the show explores blackness as “a way of being in the world.” Is that a reference to being black and black culture and black people? Talk about the dual meaning and the distinction or overlap.

ADRIENNE EDWARDS: All those thing are at play. All of it. All of it is thrown up for me to see what lands or not. What’s suspended or what sticks. I think it’s important for that to be the case. Not only with this show, but with all of my work. It’s like how can we leave these things open so that we can more productively and more complexly think about these different categories? We should be asking these kinds of questions.

What was important for me with the title is two things: It is about black as a color and what it does and the reason blackness works, the mix of it, is precisely to give it a level of capacity, of activity. And then of course, blackness in reference to the construct of race and a particular construct of race that all of these artists—and there are many, many, many, others—are questioning (Thelma Golden has been very adept at analyzing this in her shows), but then they are insisting on it with a certain level of openness. I wanted all of those things to be at play and to be given some space.

“What was important for me with the title is two things: It is about black as a color and what it does and the reason blackness works, the mix of it, is precisely to give it a level of capacity, of activity. And then of course, blackness in reference to the construct of race.” — Adrienne Edwards

Terry Adkins  Smoke Stack (Towering Steep), 2003 view 1 No. 63005
TERRY ADKINS, “Smoke Stack (Towering Steep),” 2003 (copper, aluminum and tar). | Courtesy of The Estate of Terry Adkins and Salon 94, New York. Photograph by Jeff Elstone. © Estate of Terry Adkins

 

Let’s talk about the origins of the show. You wrote your dissertation about blackness in abstraction and then also penned an article on the subject for Art in America in January 2015. How did you first come to focus on blackness in abstraction?

I noticed that there had been an increased number of artists of African descent who were making monochromatic work in all black. Especially in the very late 90s—Glenn Ligon (top image)—and going forward, in the 2000s, we really see that number grow. In terms of the dissertation, when I decided to go back to school, I went back with this notion, this idea of “I really want to look at this.” But I was looking at it in a very particular way.

Blackness in abstraction is the concluding chapter of the dissertation, which I actually wrote first. It’s taken in the context of the overall dissertation as a kind of meta example of what the argument is all along, which is that we could rethink conceptual art, or it would be interesting to rethink conceptual art.

What do you mean? Can you explain further?

What has been so discussed in terms of particularly multiculturalism in the 90s in the United States (or even earlier in the UK there was a Black Arts Movement in the 80s and also in the 90s, they kind of overlapped, but one started earlier) was this questioning of identity, in various categories around identity, and it was always conflated to be, “It’s just about art and life or art and politics.”

What I saw were gestures in the works of art that were far more complex and complicated than that, than those kind of binaries could allow, and that what we needed to do was perhaps rethink, or trace in all these different examples, what they were really questioning. What I came to was that they were questioning concepts. Some of them are concepts of identity. Some of them are concepts of economics. Some of them are social concepts.

Were you influenced by previous scholarship?

Lucy Lippard’s wonderful notion that conceptual art was the dematerialization of the art object, that it could actually be placed elsewhere, that the dematerialization was actually occurring elsewhere in some way. I wanted to locate that displacement and unraveling of concepts themselves around identity because these are things that are situated in systems that define and structure our society and therefore structure art, because art of course does not happen in a vacuum. It is something that is made not merely in the world, but actually of the world. It’s an active thing. That’s really where this was coming from.

In the conversations with artists, many of whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with and are friends, I would always pose the question. This show that Stephanie Rosenthal had done at the Haus der Kunst [in Munich, Germany] when she was there, “Black Paintings,” that looked at monochrome, I was directed to this by artist Jennie C. Jones, who I was in conversation with about this at the time. I was always curious that it was of course [Frank] Stella, [Robert] Rauschenberg, [Mark] Rothko, and [Ad] Reinhardt in that show. I didn’t see the exhibition but the book is really phenomenal in terms of historic rigor, which also came out of Stephanie’s dissertation.

What I was really struck by was that all of these linkages, in terms of the artists I was writing about for the dissertation, who are all of African descent, in terms of the black monochrome in abstraction, were rarely if ever paired or thought through in relation to these artists.

“What I was really struck by was that all of these linkages, in terms of the artists I was writing about for the dissertation, who are all of African descent, in terms of the black monochrome in abstraction, were rarely if ever paired or thought through in relation to these artists.”
— Adrienne Edwards

Adam Pendleton Untitled, 2016 No. 63105 Alt # 16-034
ADAM PENDLETON, “Untitled,” 2016 (silkscreen ink and spray paint on canvas). | Photograph courtesy the artist. © Adam Pendleton. Courtesy Pace Gallery

 

How did Pace Gallery become the venue for “Blackness in Abstraction”?

Adam [Pendleton] and I have been in conversation for years now about this subject. He has not only been a co-conspirator in terms of ideas, but he has introduced my work to Pace. [Pendleton is represented by Pace.] And Marc Glimcher [president of Pace], in particular, was very generous and visionary and said this is a show and you have to do it at Pace.

In the catalog, you state that after you wrote the piece in Art in America, Marc Glimcher saw the article and said that paragraphs two and three were an exhibition. Before that, did you envision this to be an exhibition?

Yeah. I think I’ve only seen blackness in abstraction as being an imperative for me, both curatorially and in terms of my academic life. I’ve always viewed it that way and knew that in a dream world I would be able to do this. I describe it as visual note taking, the show, my approach to it. The show itself is deeply subjective. If you took this topic and gave it to a different curator, you would get a different result. It’s really seen through what I’m thinking about, what I am drawn to in terms of art making.

With over a third of the work being made for the show, which was totally unexpected when I first set out to do it, it’s the result of extensive ongoing conversations with artists. And again, many of them who are in the show are artists I’ve worked with in the past or written about their work. So yes, in a dream world I wanted it to be an exhibition. I just wasn’t sure, given the kinds of loans I knew it would take to do it and the kind of human and financial resources it would take to do it.

“In a dream world I wanted it to be an exhibition. I just wasn’t sure, given the kinds of loans I knew it would take to do it and the kind of human and financial resources it would take to do it. ” — Adrienne Edwards

The show considers the use of black as a method, mode, and material. The use of material is pretty straightforward. Can you talk about using black as a method or a mode?

There are varying examples of how that happens in the show. As a mode, I would say that points to a kind of withholding, like in the work of Laura Lima, for example. Laura is a Brazilian artist who does not work extensively with color. [Her work,] the untitled “Ágrafo,” is this bound object that’s sculptural, but is also really a reference to painting.

For her it’s about feeling something, making something that’s not entirely available. You don’t really know because the actual work of art is covered, bound with various kinds of black fabric, various materials like velvet or a kind of velour or canvas, etcetera, and then that’s literally bound like a fetish with different kinds of rope—shipping rope, but also leather rope, for example. For me, that is blackness as a mode.

 

Wangechi Mutu Throw, 2016 No. 63038 Format of original photography: high res tiff
WANGECHI MUTU, “Throw,” 2016 (site specific action painting). | Courtesy the artist. Photograph courtesy the artist. © Wangechi Mutu

 

And as a method?

Blackness as a method is evident in something like what Wangechi [Mutu] is doing in terms of creating this pulp-like material, but in the veil of darkness. She will then create a wall piece that is testing this black pulp she began to make maybe a year and a half ago. She began to really experiment with it where she was taking these magazines and publications that she used to use in her collages and was creating a completely different kind of fermented material from it that she could use for other purposes.

Mode signals an entire process; It encompasses an entire process. It’s not just about the results. It’s a sensibility to start with that then informs the process. It’s also ideology and then it becomes expression of that ideology. It sweeps in a whole series of actions around the process of becoming the work of art. And then there is someone like Nevelson.

How would you describe Nevelson’s use of or approach to black?

I knew of Nevelson’s work, but I never really delved into it. This is a perfect example of how wanting to do a show is different from wanting to do a dissertation chapter, or different from presenting at academic conferences on this topic. And different from writing an article. I had to visually put people into a conversation and Nevelson is one of these people who had such a preoccupation with the color going back to the 1940s, before the New York school, before all of the guys I talked about in reference to Rosenthal’s “Black Paintings” show. Nevelson was already doing that. She’s already there.

“Nevelson is one of these people who had such a preoccupation with the color going back to the 1940s, before the New York school, before all of the guys I talked about in reference to Rosenthal’s “Black Paintings” show. Nevelson was already doing that. She’s already there.”
— Adrienne Edwards

I became really interested in foregrounding her in a way because in her practice you could also see how she swooped up everything—from the Realism to the proclivity for the marvelous. There’s this interest in African sculpture, as well as Mesoamerican art and how that had always been a part of this project of the modernism. The fact that things were just like performance in the context of what we do at Performa. The way in which these references were already always working in the history of modern art, was also a kind of imperative in the show. And of course [Kazimir] Malevich gives us that from the jump.

 

Ellen Gallagher Negroes Fighting in a Cave, 2016 No. 63102 Alt # GALLA 2016.0004 Format of original photography: high res tiff Photographer: Robert McKeever
ELLEN GALLAGHER, “Negroes Battling in a Cave, No. 4,” 2016 (enamel, ink, rubber and paper on linen). | © Ellen Gallagher. Photography by Tom Powel Imaging. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery

 

Yes. Ellen Gallagher interprets his work.

The “Black Square” on white ground, that “zero point of painting” for which he is so named, Ellen Gallagher takes this up in the wisest and most sophisticated way in the show with her suite of four black paintings. Malevich when he puts the black square over the Cubist form and then writes in the margins “Negroes battling in a cave”—rough translation, as we now know—from the very start, we see two things. We had a reference to a kind of suppression of the African influence that Cubism was in the context of modern art. Then we also have a direct reference to black beings in the context of modern art.

You have these two things cleaved together in something that was thought to be a radical… to be something entirely different. That revelation is something that many of the artists also wanted to take on in their own various ways in the context of this show. Ellen is probably the one who really goes most directly at it.

Each of these artists has varying motivations for why they turn to make a black work at any particular time. There is also within this show, and coming out of my conversations with artists, how black becomes a force within the context of other colors, which goes back to [Henri] Matisse and how he used to talk about black in relation with other colors. All of these conversations, all of these truly interesting areas of reason for when it was used, how it was used, really came to inform the purview of the show.

“Each of these artists has varying motivations for why they turn to make a black work at any particular time.”
— Adrienne Edwards

You mentioned Performa, as a curator of performance art, this exhibition on the surface, would seem to be a departure for you. How does “Blackness in Abstraction” bridge performance?

One of the things in my theoretical work that I’ve been so interested in, and Nevelson writes about this—or there is extensive literature about her talking about this—the fact that this color is so deeply theatrical. That is because when you are confronted with an object in which you are a bit unmoored, it does not render itself for a particular kind of legibility, or the opacity of it has a kind of prevailing force on you the viewer. That then elicits something from you that is distinct from when you encounter a figurative work of art, whether that be photography, or whatever.

I am interested in what these works do, what it does, the color, I mean. My interest in performance became transferred. Rather than a live spectacle experience, it became about how that work of art itself performed, which is simply to say how it presents itself and then how it elicits something from the viewer, so that there is some kind of exchange. There is a different kind of dynamic and that is different for every individual who is in front of it and different for every piece of work that is encountered.

It’s that openness, that radical kind of openness, when you are standing in front of it. What is it giving you? What are you giving it? The fact that you realize in that confrontation or in that encounter that you are projecting something, you have to, right? It becomes this strange scene of projection and I am really interested in that.

 

Nevelson-City-Reflection
LOUISE NEVELSON, “City-Reflection,” 1972 (wood painted black, 20 elements plus 2-part base, 22 parts total). | © 2016 Estate of Louise Nevelson/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph by Al Mozell

 

Presenting this exhibition in the context of Pace Gallery, there are several artists Fred Wilson, Adam Pendleton, Louise Nevelson, Sol Lewitt, who are represented by Pace, but you have a good number of artists from other major galleries in this show, too—Glenn Ligon, Carrie Mae Weems, Wangechi Mutu, Steve McQueen, Pope.L, Rashid Johnson, and Ellen Gallagher, among them. How did that work, bringing the other artists in?

I don’t know, because this is the first show I’ve ever done in a professional gallery. I don’t know how it works, but I would say that I think that these distinctions between institutions are unraveling as much as these distinctions between forms are unraveling.

There have been so many articles written as of late about exhibitions that are taking place in commercial galleries and I certainly asked myself the question, but was told consistently by all the people who mentored me and whom I respect, that this was a great place to do it, an important place to do it. Pace has an extraordinary roster. Many of my favorite artists just happen to be Pace artists. In a way, I hope the show opens up the way in which people can think about what this gallery has done over the past several decades. In terms playing a pivotal role in several art movements. And so, I guess I wasn’t so invested in those distinctions. It was an opportunity.

It’s an innovative scholarly show that would be a natural fit for a museum. How, if at all, does mounting it in a commercial gallery—essentially a selling space—versus a museum context, change its perception or reception? You said the lines are beginning to blur.

Yeah. Absolutely. It’s an interesting question. I don’t have an answer. It’s a great question for someone like Marc Glimcher, who owns the gallery, because he knew from day one that this was a really heady kind of show. You know, it’s not the easiest show. It’s not the easiest thing to go and be in a gallery socially and look at monochromatic works of art. But he got it. That’s why he’s so visionary. He really understood the historical implications and also what was kind of the intervention that the show wanted to make.

 

Pope.L Lever, 2016 view 1 No. 63042 Format of original photography: high res tiff
POPE.L, “Lever,” 2016 (acrylic, paint, oil crayon, chewing gum on porcelain). | Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York. © Pope.L

 

One of the things you said early on is that this exhibition would be very different with a different curator. Even though there is the element of black artists expressing themselves, it is a show about the color black in abstraction. Another curator may have done this show and had zero black artists. This happens in countess group shows where work that is created by black artists is relevant, but absent.

That’s right.

It’s sort of groundbreaking that you are able to put on this show and maybe it might open the eyes of others to present all kinds of shows in different ways. You have many, many black artists in this show, not just a few, and many acclaimed artists of other backgrounds. It’s a rarity. How important is this aspect of the show?

I don’t know that I can answer that. I’d be interested in what other people might have to say about that. For me, at this point, part of what’s so strange is that it’s so close. You know and it’s so close because it is so deeply subjective. It’s like that little thing. I don’t know if it’s a nursery rhyme. Or, it’s like a jingle, or something: “These are a few of my favorite things.”

For whatever reason, I have been totally obsessed with the work of artists like Sol LeWitt and Fred Sandback and Reinhardt and Rauschenberg and [Robert] Irwin. I am an Irwin fanatic. I was literally thinking how can I take these two different, (I guess that’s really what the show is trying to do), these seemingly different veins and put them together. It’s about love and passion and obsession with every artist who’s in this show. And then also, to rethink an artist.

“For whatever reason, I have been totally obsessed with the work of artists like Sol Lewitt and Fred Sandback and Reinhardt and Rauschenberg] and [Robert] Irwin. I am an Irwin fanatic.” — Adrienne Edwards

Rethink an artist? Can you give an example?

Or not even rethink. Carrie Mae Weems has been doing this since the late 80s and no one has ever talked about it. She has been circulating around Minimalism, in particular, from the late 80s and I wrote a very short piece for Aperture [Issue 221, Winter 2015] pointing to this. I feel like her contribution in the show is emblematic, in many ways, of this. You look at the color grid she did. She did these photographs and called it Colored People or something like that. They are literally photographs she’s taken and overlaid color, but then when she installs it, she intersperses blocks with monochromatic color with them.

I thought what’s up with that and I kept looking at Carrie’s work and then I noticed she has another one she started doing, what I call her Ghosting Series, when she would go to these sites and linger and photograph the back of her body in relation to these sites. One of them was in the Dia, reclining, looking at a series of absolute Minimalist paintings from their collection.

I was like Carrie is doing something here and I feel like all of that culminates in this new piece that Carrie has made for the show called “String Theory,” which is the outline of what would be a work of art. Because it’s Carrie Mae Weems, we presume they are photographs, but it’s just string that she’s placed on the wall. But then when you think about the title String Theory, within physics—in relation to thinking about the black holes, etcetera—string theory is about something carrying with it everything that proceeded it.

“Carrie Mae Weems has been doing this since late 80s and no one has ever talked about it. She has been circulating around minimalism, in particular, from the late 80s.” — Adrienne Edwards

Carrie Mae Weems String Theory, 2016 No. 63045 Format of original photography: high res tiff
CARRIE MAE WEEMS, “String Theory,” 2016 (archival pigment print on textured rag paper). | Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Photograph courtesy the artist. © Carrie Mae Weems

 

Is “String Theory” an installation or did Weems install the composition, and then photograph it, and the image is the work that appears in the exhibition?

She took a photograph of what she created. And so you have this black string referencing something. For me, it’s not a standalone. Carrie has been, as she goes to these institutions appearing in photographs, she’s been ghosting Minimalism since the late 80s. What that shows, which is important in the context of this show, is that even when a body is not made available to you, it does not mean it is not there.

In the catalog you use the word black as a verb. You say that one of the key questions that drives the exhibition is what does it mean to “black” an object. What do you mean?

It’s a question. I don’t know what I mean. It comes out of a very deep theoretical exploration that is really truly what the dissertation is about. But in this show, I think I’ve already kind of answered that by talking about the capacity of the object. That is really what I mean. When you have a gesture to make something completely black or to focus on how black acts among colors, you are asking that question.

Given the focus on black, how is the exhibition being installed? Will you utilize Pace’s standard white walls? I have seen images promoting Louise Nevelson’s concurrent exhibition in London that show some of her black works installed against black walls. How will the presentation for this show be done?

The gallery walls are white. Those walls are probably black because Nevelson was obsessed with showing her black works in the context of not only black environments, but also blue light.

With the white walls how does that affect how the black works function and how they are observed and understood?

I don’t know. We’re installing. Next week I can tell you. We’re in the process of putting the thing up. But it’s very important. It’s a matter of curating. It’s really just to keep things very simple, the choice around the white walls, so that the contrast could work to heighten the assets of the works. CT

This interview has been condensed and edited.

 

“Blackness in Abstraction” is on view at Pace Gallery, 510 West 25th Street in New York (June 24-Aug. 19, 2016).

 

TOP IMAGE: GLENN LIGON, “Death of Tom,” 2008 (16mm black and white film/video transfer, 23 min.; 4:3 aspect ratio, Edition AP 1 of 1). | Installation view at Regen Projects, Los Angeles. © Glenn Ligon. Courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Brian Forrest. ADRIENNE EDWARDS PORTRAIT: Photo by Whitney Browne

 

BOOKSHELF
To accompany the exhibition, Pace Gallery has published a catalog written by Adrienne Edwards that features a cover designed by artist Adam Pendleton,

 

Blackness in Abstraction Installation at Pace Gallery 537 West 24th Street, New York, NY June 27 - August 19, 2016 Mutu, Throw, 2106, #63038.EC (Detail) view 1 Photographer: Kerry Ryan McFate
Installation view of “Blackness in Abstraction,” Pace Gallery, 510 West 25th Street, New York (June 24–Aug. 19, 2016). Detail of WANGECHI MUTU, “Throw,” 2016 (paper, ink). | Photo by Kerry Ryan McFate, Pace Gallery

 

Blackness in Abstraction Installation at Pace Gallery 537 West 24th Street, New York, NY June 27 - August 19, 2016 From left: Whitten, Epsilon Series I, 1976, #63046; Murillo, II - for the souls of the rotten mighty, 2016, #63924; I - for the souls of the rotten mighty, 2016, #63037; Araeen, Series A (1)- A (6), 1961, #63007 (Detail); Mutu, Throw, 2106, #63038.EC (Detail); Jianguo, One Cubic Metre of Absolute Darkness, 2012, #63026; Pendleton, Untitled (code poem), 2016, #62732.EC; Whitten, Epsilon Series II, 1976, #63047 view 11 Photographer: Kerry Ryan McFate
Installation view of “Blackness in Abstraction,” Pace Gallery, New York. Foreground at left and right, JACK WHITTEN, “Epsilon Series I” and “Epsilon Series II,” both 1976. | Photo by Kerry Ryan McFate, Pace Gallery

 

Jack Whitten Epsilon Series II, 1976 No. 63047 Format of original photography: high res tiff
JACK WHITTEN, “Epsilon Series II,” 1976 (acrylic on canvas). | Photograph courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York. Private Collection. © 2016 Jack Whitten

 

Blackness in Abstraction Installation at Pace Gallery 537 West 24th Street, New York, NY June 27 - August 19, 2016 From left: Gallagher, Negros Battling in a Cave, 2016, #63023; Negros Battling in a Cave, 2016, #63100; Negros Battling in a Cave, 2016, #63101; Negros Battling in a Cave, 2016, #63102; Pope.L, Render, 2016, #63177;  Pendleton, Untitled (code poem Los Angeles), 2010-2016, #62731.EC view 2 Photographer: Kerry Ryan McFate
Installation view of “Blackness in Abstraction,” Pace Gallery, New York. At left, ELLEN GALLAGHER, “Negros Battling in a Cave (4), 2016. | Photo by Kerry Ryan McFate, Pace Gallery

 

Lorraine O'Grady Landscape (Western Hemisphere), 2010-2011 No. 63039 Format of original photography: high res tiff
LORRAINE O’GRADY, “Landscape (Western Hemisphere),” 2010-2011 (single channel video for projection; Duration 18 minutes). | Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York. © 2016 Lorraine O’Grady/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

 

Blackness in Abstraction Installation at Pace Gallery 537 West 24th Street, New York, NY June 27 - August 19, 2016 From left: Weems, String Theory, 2016, #63045; Sandback, Untitled (Sculptural Study, Volumes in Dialogue/Opposition), circa 1982/2005, #63043; Wilson, M (Group 1), 2010, #58589; de Andrade, Constructive Exercise for a Landless Guerrilla, 2016, #63012.01  view 22 Photographer: Kerry Ryan McFate
Installation view of “Blackness in Abstraction,” Pace Gallery, New York. From left, CARRIE MAE WEEMS, “String Theory,” 2016; FRED WILSON, “M (Group 1),” 2010; and JONATHAS DE ANDRADE, “Constructive Exercise for a Landless Guerrilla,” 2016. Floor to ceiling installation in foreground by FRED SANDBACK. | Photo by Kerry Ryan McFate, Pace Gallery

 

Lewitt-Wall Structure Black
SOL LEWITT, “Wall Structure Black,” 1962 (oil on canvas and painted wood). | © 2016 The LeWitt Estate/Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph by Ellen Page Wilson

 

Blackness in Abstraction Installation at Pace Gallery 537 West 24th Street, New York, NY June 27 - August 19, 2016 From left: Ligon, Untitled, 2016, #63028.01; LeWitt, Early Wood Sculpture, c. 1962, #35857; Rauschenberg, Untitled (black painting on paper with collage), 1952, #63140 view 4 Photographer: Kerry Ryan McFate
Installation view of “Blackness in Abstraction,” Pace Gallery, New York. From left, GLENN LIGON, “Untitled,” 2016 (suite of 17 screenprints, edition of 5); SOL LEWITT, “Early Wood Sculpture,” circa 1962; and Rauschenberg, “Untitled (black painting on paper with collage),” 1952. | Photo by Kerry Ryan McFate, Pace Gallery