Simone Leigh, ‘Seven’, 2015, Tiwani Contemporary

About Simone Leigh

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.

American, b. 1968, Chicago, Illinois, based in Brooklyn, New York

Solo Shows

2012
New York,
Simone Leigh jam packed and jelly tight

Group Shows

2016
2014
New York,
AFTERSHOCK | The Impact of Radical Art | (WARNING: CONTENT NOT SUITABLE FOR MINORS)
2014
Gallery Wendi Norris, 
San Francisco,