Sanford Biggers’ work is an interplay of narrative, perspective and history that speaks to current social, political and economic happenings, while also examining the contexts that bore them. His diverse practice positions him as a collaborator with the past through explorations of often overlooked cultural and political narratives from American history. Working with antique quilts that echo rumors of their use as signposts on the Underground Railroad, he engages these legends and contributes to this narrative by drawing and painting directly onto them. Biggers’ deconstructs the quilts and rebuilds them into 2D quilt paintings. Over the past several years, these works have grown to include new 3D abstract sculptures.
Biggers received a BA from Morehouse College, Atlanta, and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he sits on the Board of Governors. He was a former Associate Professor at Columbia University's Visual Arts program. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (1998), and has received numerous awards and accolades, including the 26th Heinz Award for the Arts (2021), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2020), and a Joyce Foundation Award and NEA Grant in 2015 to assist with a year-long project in Detroit that resulted in Subjective Cosmology, his solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (2016). He also received the 2018 Arts and Letters Award in Art presented by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Public collections include, The Art Institute of Chicago, IL, The Bass Museum, Miami, FL, Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY, The Bronx Museum, New York, NY, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, The Museum of Art and Design, New York, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, IL, Museum of Fine Art, Boston, MA, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, Pérez Art Museum, Miami, FL, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY among others.