Simone Leigh

American, born 1968

671 followers
Follow
established
Established Representation

Simone Leigh

American, born 1968

671
Followers
established
Established Representation
Biography

Listing “cultural appropriation, oral histories and failures” as among the interests motivating her work, Simone Leigh makes mixed media-sculptures and installations, as well as videos, through which she foregrounds the beauty and complexity of blackness. Claiming to “continue to revel” in her own identity as an African-American woman, she unflinchingly explores how black bodies have been discussed and displayed throughout history. Clay, in the form of terra cotta and porcelain, fired with such historically resonant, earthy elements as salt and gold, is her primary medium. Schooled in West African and Native American ceramic traditions, she crafts vessels, female busts, and sculptural forms composed of items that have served as stand-ins for stereotyping the black body, like cowry shells, plantains, and watermelon slices. Full of potent sexual references and rich tactility, Leigh’s forms dare viewers to confront—and move beyond—black stereotypes.

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
user
Solo show at a major institution
New Museum, and 2 more
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 3 more
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Sculpture Magazine, and 1 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
Berlin Biennale, and 2 more
Biography

Listing “cultural appropriation, oral histories and failures” as among the interests motivating her work, Simone Leigh makes mixed media-sculptures and installations, as well as videos, through which she foregrounds the beauty and complexity of blackness. Claiming to “continue to revel” in her own identity as an African-American woman, she unflinchingly explores how black bodies have been discussed and displayed throughout history. Clay, in the form of terra cotta and porcelain, fired with such historically resonant, earthy elements as salt and gold, is her primary medium. Schooled in West African and Native American ceramic traditions, she crafts vessels, female busts, and sculptural forms composed of items that have served as stand-ins for stereotyping the black body, like cowry shells, plantains, and watermelon slices. Full of potent sexual references and rich tactility, Leigh’s forms dare viewers to confront—and move beyond—black stereotypes.

Works For Sale
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
user
Solo show at a major institution
New Museum, and 2 more
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 3 more
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Sculpture Magazine, and 1 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
Berlin Biennale, and 2 more
Articles Featuring Simone Leigh
Why the Art World Is Embracing Craft
Jan 13th, 2020
The Most Influential Artists of 2018
Dec 17th, 2018
The 15 New York Shows You Need to See This October
Sep 28th, 2017
Simone Leigh’s New Show Honors the Survival Tactics of Black Women
Jul 12th, 2016
navigate right