Simone Leigh

ABOG Fellow for Socially Engaged Art

Simone Leigh’s practice focuses on an exploration of black female subjectivity, informed by her interest in African art, ethnographic research, feminism and performance. Simone has received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and Herb Alpert Award in the Arts in 2016. She has also received grants and awards from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Creative Capital, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Joan Mitchell Foundation, Art Matters, and New York Foundation for the Arts. She was artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Bronx Museum’s Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program. She was a facilitator of the 2012 International Art Programme at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos, and the Àsìkò School, Dakar. Recent and upcoming solo presentations include: “The Waiting Room” at the New Museum, “Hammer Projects: Simone Leigh” at The Hammer Museum, “The Free People’s Medical Clinic” created with Creative Time, The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and The Kitchen. Her work has been featured in: Bomb Magazine, Modern Painters, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Small AxE, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art and Artforum.

Her ABOG Fellowship supported Home Economics, a series of underground workshops designed to enrich the critical thinking, self-awareness and strategic planning of a group of young black girls in New York City by providing experiences as varied as acupuncture, herbalism, taiko drumming, and throwing on the pottery wheel. The workshops happened in private, away from public view. Some of the workshops were held at the New Museum, as part of “The Waiting Room” exhibition. Partners included dancer and yoga instructor Dr. Aimee Meredith Cox, acupuncturist Julia Bennett, LAc., and Master Herbalist Karen Rose, and renowned taiko musician Kaoru Watanabe.

Visit Simone Leigh’s website

Artist portrait by Paul Mpagi Sepuya.

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