Xaviera Simmons, The structure the labor the foundation the escape the pause (2020) Steel, wood, concrete, and acrylic, in three parts: a. 17 × 4 × 12 ft.; b. 14.8 ft. × 10 in. × 7.5 ft.; c. 12.5 × 9 × 26 ft. Courtesy of the Artist, Socrates Sculpture Park, and David Castillo, Miami Photo: Sara Morgan
Xaviera Simmons, The structure the labor the foundation the escape the pause (2020)
Steel, wood, concrete, and acrylic, in three parts: a. 17 × 4 × 12 ft.; b. 14.8 ft. × 10 in. × 7.5 ft.; c. 12.5 × 9 × 26 ft.

Courtesy of the Artist, Socrates Sculpture Park, and David Castillo, Miami; Originally commissioned by Socrates Sculpture Park, New York
Photo: Sara Morgan

Xaviera Simmons

The structure the labor the foundation the escape the pause

May 2021 – November 2022

Xaviera Simmons (b. 1974, New York) engages her sweeping practice of photography, painting, video, sound, sculpture, and installation to explore the construction of landscape, language, and complex histories in the United States and its empire building globally. Simmons’ trio of massive sculptures, The structure the labor the foundation the escape the pause, physically makes space for conversations regarding reparations, amends and repairs specifically to the descendants of American chattel slavery, a debt that is way past due and one that has been systemically denied for centuries. The work also delves deeply into the racial caste system and the construction of whiteness that has upheld this oppression. Simultaneously, Simmons engages in monumental forms, shapes and texture to construct the work. Drawing on the histories of sculpture, plaster and steel work, Simmons’ practice both engages formal and sociopolitical concerns.

Simmons’ work is exhibited nationally and internationally and belongs to major museum and private collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Deutsche Bank, New York; UBS, New York; The Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Agnes Gund Art Collection, New York; The De La Cruz Collection, Miami, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Studio Museum in Harlem; ICA Miami; Perez Art Museum Miami; The Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro; The Nasher Museum of Art, Durham; The High Museum, Atlanta; among others.
Simmons received her BFA from Bard College (2004) after spending two years on a walking pilgrimage retracing the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade with Buddhist Monks. She was a visiting lecturer and the inaugural 2019 Solomon Fellow at Harvard University and was awarded The Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters from Bard College in Spring 2020, among many honors. Simmons currently has works on view throughout the United States and Europe, and she is represented by David Castillo, Miami.

Courtesy of the artist and David Castillo, Miami; Originally commissioned by Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, with support from the Ford Foundation.