Simone Leigh (born 1967) is an American artist from Chicago based in New York City. Her diverse practice incorporates sculpture, installations, video, performance, and social practice. Leigh has described her work as auto-ethnographic, and her interests include African art and vernacular objects, performance, and feminism. Leigh’s performance-influenced installations create spaces where historical precedent and self-determination co-mingle.
©SIMONE LEIGH/COURTESY THE ARTIST AND HAUSER & WIRTH/SHANIQWA JARVIS The artist work is mostly concerned on the marginalization of women of color and reframes their experience as central to society. Leigh has often said that her work is focused on “Black female subjectivity,” with an interest in complex interplays between various strands of history. MoMA PS1, Walker Art Center, Studio Museum in Harlem, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, The Hammer Museum, The Kitchen, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Tilton Gallery, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, SculptureCenter, Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, L'appartement 22in Rabat, Morocco, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and the Association for Visual Arts Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa are just few of the places where Leigh was able to exhibit her work internationally.
Simone Leigh,Las Meninas, 2019. ©SIMONE LEIGH/COURTESY THE ARTIST AND CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART/FARZAD OWRANG Leigh's work was selected among "the most important and relevant work" by curators Jane Panettaand Rujeko Hockley for the 2019 Whitney Biennial. Simone Leigh will be the first Black woman to represent the U.S. at the Venice Biennale in 2022, which will run from April 23 to November 27, 2022 and will be followed by an ICA show in 2023. The 2022 Venice Biennale pavilion is set to include new sculptures by the artist. A monumental bronze sculpture will be situated outside the pavilion, and inside will be works made from raffia, ceramic, and bronze—materials that have become staples in Leigh’s work.