For his first exhibition with moniquemeloche, Biggers will activate the street-level storefront “on the wall” project space with a site-specific installation emerging from his recent work with civil war-era and pre-1900 quilts.
Abstract grounds of patchwork are overlaid with painting and mark-making and superimposed with shapes from the artist’s ever-growing repertoire of iconic or loaded images. Though the extent of their use has been contested, Biggers plays off the notion that quilts were used on the Underground Railroad as signposts signaling “stations” or safe houses.” He creates a complex vista across which his protagonist (the vague outline of a well-known photograph of a slave’s scarred back) takes in a suggested landscape. In a stark reversal of the implied manifest destiny of much Romantic landscape painting, here Biggers complicates and reassesses this historical narrative.
Sanford Biggers (born 1970 Los Angeles, CA, lives and works New York, NY) is an interdisciplinary artist who works in film/video, installation, sculpture, music, and performance. Biggers’s art frequently references African American ethnography, hip hop music, Buddhism, African spirituality, Indo-European Vodoun, Jazz, Afrofuturism, urban culture and icons from Americana. An L.A. native, he has lived and worked in New York City since 1999. He received a BA from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Biggers has been included in several notable exhibitions such as: Prospect 1/New Orleans Biennial, Illuminations at the Tate Modern, Performa 07 in NY, the Whitney Biennial, The Here and Now at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, and Freestyle at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Solo exhibitions include Ringling Museum, Sarasota FL (which travels to Virginia Commonwealth University, School of the Arts Anderson Gallery this May); MassMoCA; Brooklyn Museum of Art; Sculpture Center NY; Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum; Portland Art Museum; Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland; Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati; Contemporary Art Museum Baltimore; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; and the Berkeley Art Museum. He is presently Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s Visual Arts program.