Simone Leigh’s practice incorporates sculpture, video, and installation informed by her ongoing exploration of Black female subjectivity and ethnography. Her objects often employ materials and forms traditionally associated with African art; her performance-influenced installations create spaces where historical precedent and self-determination comingle. Through her investigations of visual overlaps between cultures, time periods, and geographies, she confronts and examines ideas of the female body, race, beauty, and community.
In 2017 Leigh received the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize. In 2016 she received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, and A Blade of Grass Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art. She has also been the recipient of the 2013 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award, a 2012 Creative Capital Grant, the 2012 LMCC Michael Richards Award for Visual Arts, and the 2011 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. Recent projects and exhibitions include Trigger: Gender as a Tool and as a Weapon at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Psychic Friends Network at Tate Exchange at Tate Modern, London; The Waiting Room at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; The Free People’s Medical Clinic, a project commissioned by Creative Time; inHarlem, a public installation presented by the Studio Museum in Harlem at Marcus Garvey Park, New York; and a solo exhibition at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.
Presented in partnership with SAIC’s Office of Engagement, Homan Square
This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency