Sanford Biggers


textiles, fabric treated paint, tar, and embroidery on stretched canvas
18 1/4 x 18 1/4 x 3/4 inches

These quilts in most cases are over hundreds of years old. Some have already been altered and re-contextualized by subsequent owners and I see myself as a late collaborator, contributing to their history and function in this present moment. Perhaps decades from now, this work will also be re-contextualized, creating an ongoing narrative over time…It’s very much like history itself, a patchwork of experiences, perspectives, and reportage that attempt to construct a single narrative but these works recognize that history is always subject to time itself, and subsequently unfixed. – Sanford Biggers

The cross-cultural textile works of Los Angeles-born, New York-based Sanford Biggers conflate multiple histories through the artist’s combination of donated quilts, fabric, embroidery, paint, tar, charcoal, glitter, and sequins. Biggers was drawn to quilts in part because of their inherent protective quality and for their fabled use as signposts for the Underground Railroad. A multidisciplinary artist, Biggers weaves together disparate themes about the African-American experience, American popular culture, hip hop, Buddhism, and politics into intentionally complicated and charged works. He has exhibited his paintings, sculptures, videos, installations, and performances internationally at the Tate Modern, London; the Whitney Museum; and Studio Museum, Harlem and was awarded the 2017 Rome Prize in Visual Arts by the American Academy in Rome.

and monique meloche gallery, chicago