Simone Leigh’s subject is Black women. Their traditions, the American artist argues, “have been left out of the archive or left out of history.” Leigh’s sculptures, performance pieces, and films place Black women in the foreground, as protagonists. She calls her approach “auto-ethnographic,” and works with shapes redolent of the American South—face jugs, bowls, jars. The female faces of her sculpted figures, often showing little more than a nose and mouth, are powerfully present and mysterious. Leigh’s first major show in Switzerland is highlighted by her monumental bronze sculpture Sentinel. —E.C.
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