Simone Leigh, ‘Panoptica’, 2019, Guggenheim Museum
Save
Save
View
View in room
Share
Share

Simone Leigh

Panoptica, 2019

Terracotta pipe and chimney, steel, and raffia
317 1/2 × 304 4/5 in
806.5 × 774.2 cm
On loan
Location
New York
About the work
Articles
Provenance
Medium
Sculpture
Image rights
Photo: David Heald © 2019 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Simone Leigh
American, b. 1968
Follow

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.

Simone Leigh, ‘Panoptica’, 2019, Guggenheim Museum
Save
Save
View
View in room
Share
Share
About the work
Articles
Provenance
Medium
Sculpture
Image rights
Photo: David Heald © 2019 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Simone Leigh
American, b. 1968
Follow

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.

Simone Leigh

Panoptica, 2019

Terracotta pipe and chimney, steel, and raffia
317 1/2 × 304 4/5 in
806.5 × 774.2 cm
On loan
Location
New York
Related works
Most Similar