The ICA is pleased to announce that it has been selected as the commissioner of the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in 2022, presenting the work of Simone Leigh in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  

Over the past two decades, Simone Leigh has created an indelible body of work that centers the experiences and histories of Black women, elevating ideas about history, race, gender, labor, and monuments.  

For the U.S. Pavilion in Venice, which consists of five rooms, the artist will create a new series of sculptures in ceramic, bronze, and raffia, inspired by leading Black intellectuals. It is a tremendous honor to present her work to audiences from around the globe in Venice in 2022, and then to bring this work home to Boston to share with U.S. audiences when we open Simone Leigh’s first major survey exhibition at the ICA in 2023.     

The 2022 U.S. Pavilion is co-commissioned by Jill Medvedow, Ellen Matilda Poss Director, and Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator at the ICA. Central to the project is a partnership with the Atlanta University Center Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective, an innovative program based in the Department of Art & Visual Culture at Spelman College, which prepares future curators, art historians, and museum professionals. We are strengthened by the participation of Nikki Greene, Assistant Professor of the Arts of Africa and the African Diaspora at Wellesley College, and Paul Ha, Director of the MIT List Visual Arts Center, who will serve as advisors to the project.  

The Venice Biennale takes place from April 23 to November 27, 2022. We look forward to sharing updates about this exciting project in the months to come. In the meantime, learn more about Simone Leigh, her work, and the Biennale.