Simone Leigh Sculpture acquired by National Gallery of Art

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, April 25, 2024

Simone Leigh Sculpture acquired by National Gallery of Art
Proposed installation of Simone Leigh’s Sentinel (2022) in the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Atrium. Visualization courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The National Gallery of Art has acquired Sentinel (2022) by Simone Leigh (b. 1967), the first work by the artist to enter the collection. Sentinel is a new edition of the sculpture from the US pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale, where Leigh was the first Black woman artist to represent the United States in the exhibition’s 127-year history. Her work was also included in the Biennale’s central exhibition, The Milk of Dreams, for which she was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Participant. The sculpture will be installed in the East Building atrium in September 2023.

The acquisition was made possible through a gift of funds from the Glenstone Foundation.

“We are thrilled to bring this exceptional work by one of America’s greatest living artists into the collection of the National Gallery of Art. Sentinel will stand tall in the East Building’s spacious atrium, a commanding contemporary presence among other monumental works of sculpture by Alexander Calder, Anthony Caro, Isamu Noguchi, and Richard Serra,” said Kaywin Feldman, director of the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Leigh has created a multifaceted body of work that includes sculpture, video, and installations. She describes her work as auto-ethnographic, in which she examines assumptions about the female body, race, beauty, and community. She incorporates materials, forms, and sculptural traditions from West and South Africa to explore Black female-identified subjectivity. Leigh’s work also refers to early African American forms, such as the face jugs of the American South, as well as Americana. Her salt-glazed ceramic and bronze sculptures often employ forms traditionally associated with African art, while her performance-influenced installations create spaces in which historical precedent mixes with self-determination.

Sentinel (2022)

More than 16 feet tall, Sentinel towers over the viewer, suggesting a lookout or guard who keeps watch over the world around it. Leigh has created her own formal vocabulary that involves the abstraction of the female body, often representing it as an architecture, as seen in the scale and columnar form of Sentinel. The bronze sculpture creates a long elegant black line, from its fused legs to its attenuated neck. It also features Leigh’s signature formal devices of the faceless figure and vessel-like head. The horizontally placed bowl on top of the figure recalls histories of labor and consumption of the body, while the erasure or elimination of the face suggests the historic anonymity and obscurity of Black women and femmes as well as their withholding of self as a form of protection and self-preservation. Sentinel recalls the influence of African forms in modern art, as its abstracted figure also suggests a nkisi or African power figure believed to contain divine energy and knowledge.

Simone Leigh (b. 1967)

Leigh was born in 1967 in Chicago and received a BA from Earlham College in 1990. Leigh’s monumental sculpture Brick House was the first artist commission for the High Line Plinth in New York. She received the prestigious Hugo Boss Prize in 2018 and has had solo exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum, Hammer Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem in Marcus Garvey Park, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (with Chitra Ganesh), New Museum, Creative Time, and The Kitchen. She has been included in group exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, New Museum, MoMA PS1, and Dak’Art 11th Biennale of Contemporary African Art. Her work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Guggenheim Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago, ICA/Boston, among others.

Black Art at the National Gallery

Sentinel (2022) by Simone Leigh joins works ranging from 19th-century to modern and contemporary pieces in the collection, including recently acquired works by David Drake, Dindga McCannon, Benny Andrews, Rashid Johnson, and Dread Scott, among others. The National Gallery recently mounted the exhibition Called to Create: Black Artists of the American South (2022), featuring 40 sculptures, assemblages, paintings, reliefs, quilts, and drawings acquired in 2020 from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, together with several related gifts as well as the landmark exhibition Afro-Atlantic Histories (2022) and James Van Der Zee’s Photographs: A Portrait of Harlem (2021). For more information about Black artists in the collection, visit

Today's News

August 13, 2023

The Barnes Foundation loosens its straitjacket

The Morgan Library & Museum announces new appointments

A 'Digital Heist' recaptures the Rosetta Stone

SFMOMA announces acquisition of more than 100 objects that underscore collecting priorities

Phoenix Art Museum announces retirement of Asian art curator, plans for national search

Japanese-made 1966 Batmobile tin toy roars to world-record $150,000 at Heritage

20th century artists experimenting with letters, words, and symbols as visual motifs at Norton Simon Museum

Jamie Reid, 76, dies; His anarchic graphics helped define the Sex Pistols

1907 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle brings $4.32 million

National Gallery celebrates pioneering women of modern art with new exhibition

Artist Haein Kim's portraits of powerful women at Edinburgh Art Festival explore the modern woman's psyche

Holocaust Center to screen documentary about World War II Jewish Partisans

Palm Springs Art Museum announces exhibition of Mexican graphic design from past to present

Columbia-born artist Rodney McMillian receives Key to the City and S.C. State House by the Columbia Museum of Art

Andrew Dosunmu's Visual World - New Monograph from Damiani Books

Twelve large-scale installations to be displayed at the Armory Show's 2023 Platform this September

Simone Leigh Sculpture acquired by National Gallery of Art

Jon Batiste has got the whole wide music world in his hands

African Artists' Foundation announces the second edition of 'Dig Where You Stand' in Togo

Richard J. Whalen, biographer of Joseph P. Kennedy, dies at 87

Where to Watch 'Blue Beetle' Online Free: When DC's Blue Beetle (2023) Movie Be Streaming On HBO Max Or Netflix

MMC996 Casino Malaysia Review: A Comprehensive Look at the Platform

Is Playing At Online Casino Better Than Betting With Singapore Pools?

How to Use Paysafecard at Canadian Online Casinos

How Art is Being Used in Web Design: Elevating the User Experience

CRSSD Festival: When House Drops Meet Fashion Pops

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful