Simone Leigh

Tall enough to shelter beneath, a statue of a powerful female form dwarfs a thatched roof installation in warm pebbled courtyard.

This exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of the richly layered work of Simone Leigh (b. 1967, Chicago). Among the most respected artists of her generation, Leigh will represent the United States at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in 2022. 

The exhibition will survey approximately twenty years of highly disciplined production in ceramic, bronze, video, and installation and will feature works from Simone Leigh: Sovereignty, the artist’s Venice Biennale presentation, providing audiences the opportunity to experience this landmark installation. Over the past two decades, Leigh has created works of art that situate questions of Black femme subjectivity at the center of contemporary art discourse and explore ideas of race, beauty, and community in visual and material culture. Addressing a wide swath of historical periods, geographies, and traditions, her art references vernacular and hand-made processes from across the African diaspora, as well as forms traditionally associated with African art and architecture. Accompanied by a major monograph, Simone Leigh offers visitors a timely opportunity to gain a holistic understanding of the complex and profoundly moving work of this groundbreaking artist.

Simone Leigh is organized by Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. Coordinating curator at the Hirshhorn is Associate Curator Anne Reeve.

In the News

The New York Times: Simone Leigh, in the World
The New Yorker: 
The Monumental Success of Simone Leigh