A wide-ranging thinker and virtuosic maker who produces objects, videos, installations, performances, and works centered on social engagement, Simone Leigh (b. 1967, Chicago) explores black female experiences from a multiplicity of cultural and formal perspectives and historical viewpoints. The global array of her references, as well as her nuanced understanding of the varied contexts in which her work appears, results in critical investigations of such complex topics as the feminist perception of beauty, the role of the physical body in communities, and the representation of race, especially as it pertains to the agency of black women. Leigh’s projects take shape across a heterogeneous spectrum of registers, often combining symbolic and ethnographic modes, and identifying where individual and collective forms of address overlap.
Simone Leigh’s monumental sculpture Brick House is the first artwork commissioned for the High Line Plinth in New York (2019-2020). Her work was featured in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of Art, New York. In 2018, Leigh was the winner of the Hugo Boss Prize and presented the solo exhibition Loophole of Retreat at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Leigh has also been the subject of solo exhibitions at, or created projects with, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); Studio Museum in Harlem in Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem, New York (2016); Tate Exchange at Tate Modern, London (2016); New Museum, New York (2016); Creative Time and Weeksville Heritage Center, Brooklyn (2014); Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (2014); and The Kitchen, New York (2014), among other institutions. Leigh’s work is in the permanent collections of museums that include the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.