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Artist Simone Leigh Installs 16-foot “Brick House” Sculpture in Philly

November 10, 2020

A new work of public art was installed in Philly today, one which I think could easily become one of our city’s most iconic. Created by artist Simone Leigh, the new sixteen-foot bronze sculpture titled Brick House rose at its permanent home at 34th and Walnut Streets in West Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania!

Now serving as the gateway to Penn’s campus, Brick House is “a bronze bust of a Black woman with a torso that combines the forms of a skirt and a clay house,” according to the High Line where another cast of it is on display until 2021. “The sculpture’s head is crowned with an afro framed by cornrow braids, each ending in a cowrie shell. The title comes from the term for a strong Black woman who stands with the strength, endurance, and integrity of a house made of bricks.”

By the way Simone, a Chicago-born and now Brooklyn-based artist, was recently selected to represent the United States at the 2022 Venice Biennale, becoming the first Black woman to do so.

Even without eyes, the sculpture seems to both be staring at you and into the distance. It’s a stunning artwork from one of the world’s top living artists, and I’m so excited to have it here!

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