In 2019, renowned African American artist, Lorna Simpson, received the prestigious Getty Medal. Simpson, said James Cuno, President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, “is at once a photographer and multimedia artist whose work is both trenchant in its critique of race, gender, and identity, and exquisite in its formal beauty and technical execution.”
Simpson, born 1960 in Brooklyn, is known for her conceptual photography, collage, painting, drawing, sculpture and has been exhibited in major museums from MOMA to MOCA, Chicago to the Venice Biennale. Her broadly acclaimed work includes her re-fashioning of forgotten images of women from Ebony and Jet Magazines.
“I think my work is always changing and evolving,” says Simpson in a Studio Visit linked to her 2018 exhibit at Hauser Wirth London. “I seem to need all these different ways to funnel my imagination.” “The backdrop to all of this work is photography,” she adds. “There are images that are collage and manipulated and played with. So much time spent with photography; it’s still a very big part of what I do or what I rely on.”
“Very interesting times we’re living in terms of America, and very scary times,” says Simpson in this 2018 interview. “I think what I fear more is apathy. I think I’ve always worked in all sorts of circumstances, so working for me is a work of life.”
Now, Simpson – whom Vogue Magazine call ‘America’s Most Defiant Conceptual Artist’ – has her work on display at Vancouver’s Rennie Museum. Included will be the first five paintings she released – exhibited at the 2015 Venice Biennale, her black and white photographs 1957-2009, and the unveiling of a new 2020 work: The matter of the bracelet.
She is exhibited at the Rennie alongside Barney L. Hendricks, another celebrated, widely exhibited African American artist who was born 1945 in North Philadelphia and passed in 2017.
We obviously cannot visit the museum in person now, but you can actively explore the space through a Virtual Tour.
Written by Elizabeth Newton
Header: Source Notes. Lorna Simpson and Hauser & Wirth