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Sanford Biggers

American  •  b. 1970


Pursuing a multi-disciplinary formal process, Sanford Biggers creates artworks that integrate film, video, installation, sculpture, drawing, textile, music and performance. Engaging with the past to help better understand the present, Biggers intentionally complicates issues such as hip hop, Buddhism, politics, identity and art history in order to offer new contemporary perspectives and associations for established symbols. History is not a thing of the past for Sanford Biggers, but an ongoing current that he confronts head on. 

Viewing himself as a collaborator with the work of the African and African American artists and artisans who came before him, Biggers borrows, enhances and memorializes their work, as well as their struggles, through his own object-making. He has done so, for example, by turning his attention to the signs and symbols embedded in quilts that were purportedly used to help slaves escape north along the Underground Railroad. Investing the quilt form with new meaning and adding his own set of abstract codes as he cuts, re-sews and embellishes antique quilts, Biggers constructs modern statements on the state of America.


  • Selected museum exhibitions and performances: Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum, NY; The Studio Museum in Harlem; The Menil Collection, Houston; MoMA PS1, Queens, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

“I often think of history itself as a material—a malleable material.”

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