Simone
Leigh

2022 Venice
Biennale

Official U.S. Presentation, 59th International
Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia

April 23–
November 27, 2022

Commissioned by the
Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

La Biennale

Simone Leigh will represent the United States at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in 2022. Presented in the United States Pavilion, Leigh’s exhibition is commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Simone Leigh, a medium-dark-skinned woman with dreadlocks working on a large clay sculpture in a denim work outfit

Photo by Shaniqwa Jarvis

For the U.S. Pavilion, Simone Leigh has created a new series of figurative sculptures in bronze and ceramic that furthers her commitment to highlighting the labor and resilience of Black women across global histories. Drawing upon artistic traditions from within Africa and the African diaspora, Leigh uses a strategy that she terms “the creolization of form,” merging disparate cultural languages linked through histories of colonization. With these works, Leigh weaves together references to 19th-century West African art, the material culture of early Black Americans, and the colonial history of international expositions.

Artistic and scholarly programs included in Simone Leigh’s project at the U.S. Pavilion will be announced in the coming months.

About La Biennale di Venezia

Established in 1895, La Biennale di Venezia is acknowledged today as one of the most prestigious cultural institutions. La Biennale stands at the forefront of research and promotion of new contemporary art trends and organizes events in its specific sectors of Arts (1895), Architecture (1980), Cinema (1932), Dance (1999), Music (1930), and Theatre (1934), alongside research and training activities. The International Art Exhibition is considered the most prestigious contemporary art exhibition in the world, introducing hundreds of thousands of visitors to exciting new art every two years. The 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (April 23–November 27, 2022) is directed by Cecilia Alemani.

 

About the U.S. Pavilion

The United States Pavilion, a building in the neoclassical style in the Giardini della Biennale, Venice, opened on May 4, 1930. Since 1986, the U.S. Pavilion has been owned by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and managed by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, which works closely with the U.S. Department of State and exhibition curators to install and maintain all official U.S. exhibitions presented in the Pavilion. Every two years, museum curators from across the country detail their visions for the U.S. Pavilion in proposals that are reviewed by the National Endowment for the Arts’s Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions (FACIE), a group comprising curators, museum directors, and artists, who then submit their recommendations to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. View past exhibitions.

 About the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) builds relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional, and private exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs. These exchange programs improve foreign relations and strengthen the national security of the United States, support U.S. international leadership, and provide a broad range of domestic benefits by helping break down barriers that often divide us, like religion, politics, language and ethnicity, and geography. ECA programs build connections that engage and empower people and motivate them to become leaders and thinkers, to develop new skills, and to find connections that will create positive change in their communities. For more information, please visit https://exchanges.state.gov/us.