NEW/NOW: Sanford Biggers

Mantra (detail)
Sanford Biggers (B. 1970), Mantra (detail), 2016, Colored Sand, 22 x 22 ft.      |       © Sanford Biggers


NEW/NOW: Sanford Biggers

William L. and Bette Batchelor Gallery

The New Britain Museum of American Art is thrilled to showcase the work of internationally acclaimed artist Sanford Biggers in our forthcoming NEW/NOW exhibition in the Batchelor Gallery.

On the occasion of this presentation, Biggers will create a large site-specific installation of a floor rug composed of loose sand poured unaffixed to the floor in colorful patterns that evoke prayer rugs or quilts—objects frequently referenced in Biggers’s works for their aesthetic and cultural associations. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, audiences can engage with the work through meditation and observance, and by participating in a host of related programs organized by the Museum involving dance, discussion, and community. For Mantra, the artist has recreated Sue Willie Seltzer's (b. 1922), Housetop, a nine-block Half Log Cabin variation quilt, circa 1955.

A Los Angeles native currently working and teaching in New York, Biggers spent three years in Japan in the 1990s, where he became deeply interested in Buddhist philosophy and practice. Inspired by the mandalas produced by monks, which symbolize the spirit, temporality, and ephemerality, Biggers began to incorporate their patterns within his own artworks, including mandala dance floors upon which breakdancing was performed. The mandala floors gradually evolved into poured-sand rugs, reflecting Biggers’s interest in creating objects of a fleeting, temporary nature.

Throughout his career, Biggers has pursued an interdisciplinary practice involving film, video, installation, sculpture, drawing, original music, and performance, to address a range of subjects including hip-hop, Buddhism, politics, identity, and art history in order to offer new perspectives and associations regarding established symbols and the American experience. Biggers has exhibited worldwide throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. His works are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Walker Art Center, among many others.