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Black Light Series #7: Ego Painting

A work made of oil on canvas.
© 2019 Faith Ringgold / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Faith Ringgold
American, born 1930

About this artwork

Faith Ringgold’s practice developed during the civil rights and women’s movements of the 1960s. An ardent activist throughout this period and into the 1970s, Ringgold was inspired by the Black Arts Movement and became a lifelong advocate for the increased representation of female and black artists in museum collections and exhibitions. At the same time, she brought political and social activism into her paintings, sculptures, textiles, and performances. Although perhaps best known for her later “story quilts” begun in the 1980s, Ringgold’s paintings of the 1960s, such as Black Light Series #7: Ego Painting, are a foundational body of work increasingly recognized for their powerful formal and social investigations of the color black. One of the first works in which Ringgold integrated text into her compositions, Ego Painting borrows its design from the political posters she was creating at the time. It likewise takes its compositional format—a square divided into eight triangles—from textile designs of the Kuba Kingdom of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a recurring format in her work of this time. Adopting an unconventional approach to the artist’s signature, she employed her name as both visual form and content, with image and text fully integrated into the red, black, and gray composition. Ringgold would move away from painting in the 1970s, yet with this powerful body of early work she asserted herself into the lineage and discourse of painting while also embodying a pivotal and profound moment in United States history.


On loan to Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young Museum in San Francisco for Faith Ringgold


Contemporary Art


Faith Ringgold


Black Light Series #7: Ego Painting




Oil on canvas


76 × 76 cm (30 × 30 in.)

Credit Line

Wilson L. Mead Trust Fund; Claire and Gordon Prussian Fund for Contemporary Art; Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Logan Purchase Prize Fund; Ada S. Garrett Prize, Flora Mayer Witkowsky Purchase Prize, Gordon Prussian Memorial, Emilie L. Wild Prize, William H. Bartels Prize, William and Bertha Clusmann Prize, Max V. Kohnstamm Prize, and Pauline Palmer Prize funds

Reference Number



© 2019 Faith Ringgold / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Extended information about this artwork

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