Glazed salt-fired stoneware, circa 2011-12. 216x381x178 mm; 8 1/2x15x7 inches.
Provenance: acquired directly from the artist; private collection, New York.
Simone Leigh's cowrie shell is an excellent example of one of her signature sculptural forms. Each of her cowrie shells is unique - this work is covered in raised black dots of glaze with a golden iridescent glaze from the salt added to the kiln. The tactile surface is only disrupted by the jagged opening to the interior of this evocative form.
Simone Leigh began making these cowrie shells in 2011. They have been both exhibited as individual works and part of larger sculptures and installations. These forms were first publicly exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem during Simone Leigh's 2010-11 residency, then again in her 2011 solo exhibition You Don't Know Where Her Mouth Has Been at the Kitchen, New York. The exhibition featured the same-titled installation of 65 cowrie shells hanging by wire as a chandelier.