Sculptor Simone Leigh Wins Guggenheim’s Hugo Boss Prize

Posted October 18, 2018 9:23 p.m. EDT

Brooklyn-based artist Simone Leigh, whose sculpture has been the subject of increasing attention, on Thursday evening was awarded the Guggenheim Museum’s prestigious Hugo Boss Prize, which recognizes achievement in contemporary art.

“Leigh has consistently expanded the possibilities of ceramics, which is her principal medium and one that has long been undervalued within the mainstream art world,” the jury said in its statement. “We are particularly compelled by Leigh’s longstanding and unwavering commitment to addressing black women as both the subject of and audience for her work.”

Leigh, 50, has for more than 25 years explored the experiences and social histories of black women through the ceramic tradition. She currently has a solo show at the New York gallery Luhring Augustine. And she has been selected as the inaugural winner of the High Line’s new series of large-scale commissions, which will be unveiled in April.

The 12th artist to receive the biennial Hugo Boss prize — which is named after its fashion company sponsor — Leigh will receive an award of $100,000 as well as a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim in April 2019.

The other finalists were Bouchra Khalili, Teresa Margolles, Emeka Ogboh, Frances Stark and Wu Tsang.