Raid the Icebox Now with Simone Leigh
In this project installed in the RISD Museum’s ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman galleries, new ceramic figures that are timelessly anonymous yet recognizably female are presented alongside works drawn from throughout art history. Leigh created differences in the surface textures and visual appearance of her figures by varying the number and duration of firings for each work. Resonating beside historical objects ranging from a Roman marble column with vine decoration (ca. CE 120) to Nancy Elizabeth Prophet’s Negro Head (made before 1927) to Janine Antoni’s Chocolate Gnaw (maquette) (1992), the figures’ embodiment of surface suggests new relationships between time, the body, and landscape.
Simone Leigh lives and works in New York. Her sculptures, installations, video, and performances address the complex realities and challenges of contemporary women of color internationally in a manner that is both critical and analytical, heroic and celebratory. Leigh’s practice is also characterized by a rigorous investment in and dynamic reconsideration of the process of making objects or staging situations, experimenting with new mediums and approaches to give the social, historical, and political themes and explorations in her work an even greater impact.
Raid the Icebox Now is made possible by a lead grant from the National Endowment for the Arts with additional support from Pace Gallery, Taylor Box Company, and a generous in-kind gift from Meyer Sound Laboratories. RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and Museum Governors.