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Visiting artist Lorna Simpson discusses her work as part of the Howard A. Silverstein & Patricia Bleznak Silverstein Photography Lecture Series.
Thursday, October 2nd
Meyerson Hall, B1
Lorna Simpson was born in 1960 in Brooklyn, New York, and received her BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and her MFA from the University of California, San Diego. When Lorna Simpson emerged from the graduate program at San Diego in 1985, she was already considered a pioneer of conceptual photography. Feeling a strong need to reexamine and re-define photographic practice for contemporary relevance, Simpson was producing work that engaged the conceptual vocabulary of the time by creating exquisitely crafted documents that are as clean and spare as the closed, cyclic systems of meaning they produce. Her initial body of work alone helped to incite a significant shift in the view of the photographic art’s transience and malleability.
Lorna Simpson first became well-known in the mid-1980s for her large- scale photograph-andtext works that confront and challenge narrow, conventional views of gender, identity, culture, history and memory. With unidentified figures as a visual point of departure, Simpson uses the figure to examine the ways in which gender and culture shape the interactions, relationships and experiences of our lives in contemporary America. In the mid-1990s, she began creating large multi-panel photographs printed on felt that depict the sites of public – yet unseen – sexual encounters. Another aspect of her practice includes figurative drawings of characters, and collages as well as a new video work titled “Chess,” 2013 which premiered at the Jeu De Paume in May 2103.
Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Miami Art Museum; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. She has participated in such important international exhibitions as the Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and Documenta XI in Kassel, Germany. She has been the subject of numerous articles, catalogue essays, and a monograph published by Phaidon Press. Her first mid-career survey was exhibited at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Miami Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Gibbes Museum in South Carolina with accompanying monograph published by the American Federation of the Arts, New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. In 2013 her works on paper was the subject of an exhibition at the Aspen Art Museum with accompanying catalogue “Lorna Simpson Works on Paper,” Aspen Art Museum. A survey retrospective, accompanied by a monograph “Lorna Simpson” published by Prestel Press, New York, premiered in the spring at the Jeu de Paume, Paris, and traveled to the Haus der Kunst, Munich and The BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, England. This fall in September, the exhibition will be on view at the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts.