‘Sanford Biggers: Meet Me on the Equinox’ at Marianne Boesky Gallery




Sanford Biggers, Slow Murder, 2023, Antique quilts, assorted textiles, mixed media, 67 1/4 x 154 x 3 1/4 inches, 170.8 x 391.2 x 8.3 cm, (SB.20247) Photo: Lance Brewer, Copyright: © Sanford Biggers, Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen.

Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to present Meet Me on the Equinox, a solo exhibition of new work by New York-based conceptualartist Sanford Biggers (b. 1970; Los Angeles, CA). Biggers’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, Meet Me on the Equinox features new works from the artist’s quilt-based Codex series, sculptural Chimera series, and a site-specific anamorphic drawing. A foray into the origin of myth and the malleability of historical narrative, the exhibition blurs the boundaries between seemingly disparate elements of Biggers’s practice as the convergence of pattern, material, and allegory sets the stage for the creation of novel, discordant, and subjective mythologies. On view beginning September 7th.

Throughout his practice, Biggers examines the inherent tensions of history and culture, of language and symbol, of myth and narrative.Operating across diverse mediums—including painting, sculpture, collage, mixed media, music, video, and performance—Biggers emerges as an artistic intermediary. Continuously interrupting established narratives, intervening into historical forms, and remixing recognizable cultural signifiers, Biggers complicates, questions, and ultimately fosters new understandings of collective histories.

Sanford Biggers, Knock, 2023. Black polished Marquina marble. 56 3/4 x 43 1/8 x 26 5/8 inches/ 144.1 x 109.5 x 67.6 cm. Overall: Unique within a series of 3 (SB.19216). © Sanford Biggers, Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen.

With Meet Me on theEquinox, Biggers examines the points of harmony and discord—material, formal, and conceptual—in his recent Codexand Chimeraworks. Antique quilts—versions of which, according toAmerican folklore, acted as coded signposts on the Underground Railroad—form the heart of the Codex series. Biggers paints, collages, twists, andmolds foundquiltsinto artworks that resonate with major themes of his practice. With the marble Chimera sculptures, Biggers combines elements from traditional African and European masks, busts, and figures to investigate historical depictions of the body—and their associated myths, archetypes, and power dynamics.

Sanford Biggers, Sun Goddess (Amaterasu), 2023, Antique quilts, wood, gold leaf, 38 3/8 x 64 1/4 inches, 97.5 x 163.2 x 12.9 cm, (SB.20410), Photo: Lance Brewer. © Sanford Biggers, Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen.

Although visually, materially, and formallydistinct, the Codexand Chimeraseriesboth probethe physicaland symbolic origins of myth.Biggers reimagines these vestiges of the past—quilts and marbles—and their myriadattendantmeanings, metaphors, and associations.Recombining and remixing these materials, metaphors, and forms, Biggers embracesthe inherent tensions at the heart of this tangled web ofhistory and lore. Allowing his divergent modalities to mingle with an uninhibited sense of playfulness, improvisation, and discovery, Biggers reveals his work as an ongoing process of remaking, re-envisioning, and renewed understanding.

Sanford Biggers, Inverted Mask, 2023, Green marble, 44 x 24 x 24 inches/ 111.8 x 61 x 61 cm, Overall: TBC (SB.20147). © Sanford Biggers, Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen.

Meet Me on the Equinox takes its title from the exhibition’s centerpiece—a large-scale, site-specific anamorphic drawing installation. Comprising a series of arches that span the walls and floor of the gallery, the drawing—titled Equinox—confounds viewers’ sense of place and perspective. From asingular point in the corner of thegallery, the drawing seamlessly aligns, framing the free-standing Chimerasculptures much as Stonehenge frames the solsticesun. Situating his marble sculptures and quilt-based compositions within this monumental installation, Biggers manipulates perspective and perception, infusing nuanced histories with renewed significance and prompting us to consider their diverse symbols, meanings, and mythologies anew.

Sanford Biggers, Poly, 2023. Antique quilts, assorted textiles, mixed media. 90 x 51 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches/ 228.6 x 130.8 x 11.4 cm (SB.20415). Photo: Lance Brewer. © Sanford Biggers, Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen.

About the artist ~ Sanford Biggers work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions throughout his career: Sanford Biggers: Codeswitch, an exhibition devoted to the artist’s Codexworks and curated by Sergio Bessa and Andrea Andersson, traveled from the Bronx Museum of Art, NY, to the Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY, and the California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA from 2020–2022. Biggers has had additional solo exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, MI;the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA; Chazen Museum of Art, WI; and the Brooklyn Museum, NY. His work has been shown in numerous group exhibitions, including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA; the Menil Collection, Houston, TX; and the Tate Modern, London, UK, among others.

In 2023, Biggers received The Amistad Center’s Spirit of Juneteenth Award, Morehouse College’s Bennie Trailblazer Award, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, and he was elected to the National Academy of Design. In 2021, was awarded the 26th Heinz Award for the Arts from the Heinz Family Foundation and named Savannah College of Art and Design’s deFINE Art Honoree and the MIT Department of Architecture’s 2021-2022 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professor and Scholar. In 2020, Biggers was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2019, he was inducted into the New York Foundation for the Arts Hall of Fame. He was awarded the American Academy ofArts and Letters Award in 2018 and the Rome Prize in Visual Arts in 2017. Biggers’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; the Walker Center, Minneapolis, MN; the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington D.C.; the Dallas Museum of Art, TX; and the Legacy Museum, Montgomery, AL, among others. Biggers was raised in Los Angeles; he lives and works in New York, NY.

Sanford Biggers, Pan, 2023. Antique quilts, assorted textiles, mixed media. 66 x 80 x 2 3/4 inches/ 167.6 x 203.2 x 7 cm. (SB.20414). Photo: Lance Brewer. © Sanford Biggers, Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen.
Sanford Biggers: Meet Me on the Equinox will be on view September 7 to October 14, 2023 at Marianne Boesky Gallery, 507 West 24th Street, NYC. There will be an Opening Reception on Thursday, September 7 from 6-8pm.

Take a look back at Sanford Biggers: Oracle, a 25-foot-tall cast bronze at the entrance to the Channel Gardens at Rockefeller Center in 2021.

Look back at Sanford Biggers: Codeswitch at The Bronx Museum of the Arts in 2020.