Lorna Simpson: Unanswerable

Lorna Simpson’s inaugural exhibition at Hauser & Wirth London, ‘Unanswerable’, features new and recent work across three different media: painting, photographic collage and sculpture. Simpson came to prominence in the 1980s through her pioneering approach to conceptual photography, which featured striking juxtapositions of text and staged images and raised questions about the nature of representation, identity, gender, race and history. These concerns are reflected throughout the exhibition to present the artist’s expanding and increasingly multi-disciplinary practice today.

Simpson continues to develop the language of the found image as a source for her work, incorporating photographs from her collection of vintage Ebony and Jet magazines from the 1950s to the 1970s. These publications focused on subjects of lifestyle, culture and politics from an African-American perspective and are credited with chronicling black lives and issues so sorely under-represented elsewhere in the media. The material has both a personal and a wider cultural significance for Simpson who describes how the magazines, ‘informed my sense of thinking about being black in America and are both a reminder of my childhood and a lens through which to see the past fifty years of history.’

Through layering and collage, Simpson’s recent works reconfigure imagery of the female form and reflect the artist’s ongoing exploration of, and response to, contemporary culture and American life today. An installation, entitled ‘Unanswerable’ (2018), is composed of over 40 individual photo collages each of which is unique and created from original source material and archive photography. A series of female protagonists are often the focal point of the images and Simpson splices these with architectural features, animals and natural elements to create scenarios that are at once poetic and arresting. In this way, the artist deftly suggests compelling new narratives that emerge from the unexpected settings and contexts.

See also Matthew Day Jackson: Still Life and the Reclining Nude, 1 March – 28 April 2018, Hauser and Wirth

Duration 01 March 2018 - 28 April 2018
Times Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 6 pm
Cost Free
Venue Hauser & Wirth (London)
Address 23 Savile Row, London, W1S 2ET
Contact / london@hauserwirth.com / www.hauserwirth.com

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