Contemporary Discoveries

Contemporary Discoveries

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 53. Slipcover.

Simone Leigh


Lot Closed

December 15, 03:52 PM GMT


40,000 - 60,000 USD

Lot Details


Simone Leigh

b. 1967


painted porcelain, metal and slipcover

28 by 28 ½ by 5 ¼ in.

71.1 by 72.4 by 13.3 cm.

Executed in 2008. 

Acquired directly form the artist by the present owner

“I am charting a history of change and adaptation through objects and gesture and the unstoppable forward movement of black women.” (Simone Leigh, quoted in William J. Simmons, “Simone Leigh discusses her two new exhibitions in Kentucky and New York,” Artforum International Magazine, 02 May 2015, online).

One of the foremost black female artists of the 21st Century, Simone Leigh takes an auto-ethnographic approach to her work, investigating black female subjectivity through sculpture, video art, and installations. Devoting her work to black women, Simone Leigh simultaneously explores the African diaspora, integrating African motifs into her oeuvre. Most identifiable for her perplexing female figures that allude to themes of racism and post-colonialism through subtle abnormalities or subtle inclusion of certain objects, the present work presents a familiar object with which the viewer directly confronts.


Slipcover is an outstanding example of the stereotypical iconography that the artist implores the viewer to process. Leigh’s porcelain plantains that are seemingly trapped within the slipcover reference the harrowing history behind present black culture. Rather than reflect on the effect on black culture that a simple commodity like a plantain represents, she wants the viewer to see “what [black women] did in those compromised positions — the labor, the care, the love, the ideas.” Like her more explicit figures of black females, Simone Leigh continues to open the conversation about the contemporary black woman.