Lorna Simpson


From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer

December 6, 2017 - December 31, 2017

As a final exhibition commemorating the Embodied: Asserting Self exhibition series, Blue Sky presents Lorna Simpson: from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer, which includes two major bodies of work by Simpson: Wigs (1994) and Details (1996). Wigs is a collection of twenty-one lithographs depicting hair pieces and seventeen corresponding texts printed on felt. The images and texts emphasize the significance of hair in relation to dominant beauty standards and focus on a wide range of styles, including Afros, braided hair, blond locks, and doll wigs. Details consists of twenty-one photogravures accompanied by silkscreened captions. The imagery of the photogravures comes from the artist’s collection of family photos that she has edited and tightly cropped to focus on gestures and hands, while the cryptic text creates a fragmentary but open-ended narrative. In both works, Simpson references the body without including it, or leaves out defining facial features to preserve her subjects’ anonymity, inviting viewers to place themselves or imagine others within these visual spaces.

Lorna Simpson was born in Brooklyn, New York, where she continues to live and work. She received a BFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and an MFA in visual arts from the University of California, San Diego. Simpson has exhibited extensively, both nationally and internationally, including recent solo exhibitions at the Jeu de Paume, Paris; the Brooklyn Museum; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Simpson has participated in distinguished international exhibitions such as Documenta 8 and 11 in Kassel, Germany, and the 44th and 56th Venice Biennales; in 1990, she was the first African-American woman to exhibit work in the Venice Biennale.

2017Blue SkyLorna Simpson