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Simone Leigh

"Crop Rotation"

February 6 - April 5, 2015
Al Shands and Bill and Lindy Street Galleries, Second Floor
Curated by Joey Yates
Docent Guided Exhibition Tours Every First and Third Saturday & Sunday, 3p

Simone Leigh (Brooklyn, NY) is widely known for navigating the intersections of traditional craft mediums and contemporary art practices. Her sculptures, videos, installations, and performances are situated in anarea of artistic inquiry that explores the biological, political, and social experiences of women. Leigh's research process and artistic production often stand as a veneration of the ingenuity and fortitude of the anonymous female artist and worker. Crop Rotation presents a series of works informed by the roles women have historically played as both laborer and caretaker.


Leigh's practice frequently focuses on the historical depiction of the black female body in visual culture. In Crop Rotation she examines the way certain objects, like the hoop skirt or hand tied tobacco from a Kentucky farmer, resonate multiple narratives relating to the economic, racial, and sexual histories of African American women from the South. Sampling from different cultural traditions and materials, her artworks often employ crafting techniques borrowed from methods of adornment, jewelry, and pottery making in order to critically address contemporary issues relating to gender, race, and cultural identity.


Crop Rotation communicates a range of possibilities for self­reflection from the viewpoints of cultural heritage, personal and collective history, science, anthropology, and the juxtaposition of found and hand­made objects. By rotating new sculptures with projects from previous exhibitions, Leigh exposes the new meanings that objects and ideas can convey in new spaces, meanings that might otherwise lay fallow.


Leigh recently presented The Free People's Medical Clinic (2014) a project commissioned by Creative Time as part of the widely celebrated four artist, community­based exhibition Funk, God, Jazz, and Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn. She has had solo presentations at The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, The Kitchen and Tilton Gallery in New York. Group exhibitions include Contemporary Art Museum in Houston, Sculpture Center in New York, Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, L'Appartement22 in Rabbat, Morocco, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and the AVA Gallery in Cape Town, South Africa. She has had her work featured in several publications including: Bomb Magazine, Modern Painters, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Small AxE, and Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and EBONY Magazine. Among multiple awards and grants she received the 2013 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award and she is a 2012 Creative Capital Grantee. She has taught at the Rhode Island School of Art and Design and recently accepted a post at Columbia University in New York.




Emily Bingham and Stephen Riley

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