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Lorna Simpson Art

American, b. 1961

From collaging photos from ads in vintage issues of Jet and Ebony magazines to breaking down subjects into fragments of hair or the body, Lorna Simpson (b. 1960) takes a conceptual approach to photography in her ongoing examination of identity. 

Whether it’s the 21 lithographs printed on felt of various hairstyles for her Wigs (Portfolio) (1994) or her Guarded Conditions (1989) series, which calls out the violence that Black women encounter with its fragmentation of a woman’s body across color Polaroid prints, Simpson’s best-known projects comprise text and image to confront conventional ideas of beauty, gender and race. In particular, she uses her own experiences in radical work that often challenges universally perpetuated beauty standards that have long excluded Black women.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, where she continues to live and work, Simpson initially took documentary photographs as she traveled the world in the 1970s. She then studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and the University of California San Diego, earning her MFA in visual arts there in 1985. It was in graduate school in the 1980s that Simpson shifted her perspective in photography to grapple with complex ideas of objectivity. Some of her early projects combined text with studio images, mostly of Black women, to highlight how photographs are shaped by both context and expectations. Later expanding into film, painting, drawing and sculpture, Simpson has retained that interest in representation and memory at the center of her work, regardless of medium.

In 1990, Simpson became the first Black woman to exhibit at the Venice Biennale, and her career has included solo shows at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

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Artist: Lorna Simpson
Recall, from the Exit Art/The First World Portfolio
By Lorna Simpson
Located in New York, NY
LORNA SIMPSON Recall, from the Exit Art/The First World Portfolio, 1998 Silkscreen on Felt 30 × 22 inches Hand signed and numbered 17/50 on the front Unframed This impressive silkscr...
Category

1990s Contemporary Lorna Simpson Art

Materials

Felt, Screen

Lorna Simpson, III (Wish #1, Wish #2, Wish #3), Set of 3 Wishbones
By Lorna Simpson
Located in Hamburg, DE
Lorna Simpson (b. 1960) III (Wish #1, Wish #2, Wish #3), 1994 Medium: Complete set of three ceramic, rubber and bronze wishbones within molded felt printed with waterless lithography...
Category

20th Century Lorna Simpson Art

Materials

Bronze

Wigs
By Lorna Simpson
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Lorna Simpson (b. 1960) is an American artist renowned as a pioneer of conceptual photography. Her artwork explores the interplay between historical memory, culture, and African-Amer...
Category

1990s Contemporary Lorna Simpson Art

Materials

Silver Gelatin

Van Der See Prop Vase
By Lorna Simpson
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Lorna Simpson (b. 1960) is an American artist renowned as a pioneer of conceptual photography. Her artwork explores the interplay between historical memory, culture, and African-Amer...
Category

1990s Contemporary Lorna Simpson Art

Materials

Screen

Partition and Time
By Lorna Simpson
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Lorna Simpson is an American artist renowned as a pioneer of conceptual photography. Her artwork, regardless of medium, explores the interplay between hi...
Category

1990s Conceptual Lorna Simpson Art

Materials

Silver Gelatin

Recall by Lorna Simpson
By Lorna Simpson
Located in New York, NY
Lorna Simpson Recall, 1998 Silkscreen on felt 30 x 22 inches Edition of 50 Hand signed and numbered by the artist
Category

1990s Contemporary Lorna Simpson Art

Materials

Felt, Screen

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Previously Available Items
Untitled
By Lorna Simpson
Located in New York, NY
Gelatin silver print (Edition of 25) Signed, dated, and numbered, verso 14 x 11 inches, sheet This artwork is offered by ClampArt, located in New York City. Much of Lorna Simpson’s work incorporates images of hair along with short, vague texts in order to comment on issues of race. This artwork illustrates the artist’s interest in representations of gender. Kobena Mercer writes: “Within racism’s bipolar codification of human values, black people’s hair has been historically devalued as the most visible sign of blackness, second only to skin.” [“Black Hair/Style Politics,” Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures (New York City: The New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1990), p. 249] By employing pubic hair...
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1990s Contemporary Lorna Simpson Art

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Silver Gelatin

Partition and Time
By Lorna Simpson
Located in Toronto, Ontario
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Lorna Simpson-Backdrops Circa 1940-26.25" x 33.5"-Serigraph-1998-Photography
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Located in Brooklyn, NY
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20th Century Lorna Simpson Art

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Untitled
By Lorna Simpson
Located in New York, NY
Gelatin silver print (Edition of 25) Signed, dated, and numbered, verso 14 x 11 inches, sheet This artwork is offered by ClampArt, located in New York City. Much of Lorna Simpson’s work incorporates images of hair along with short, vague texts in order to comment on issues of race. This artwork illustrates the artist’s interest in representations of gender. Kobena Mercer writes: “Within racism’s bipolar codification of human values, black people’s hair has been historically devalued as the most visible sign of blackness, second only to skin.” [“Black Hair/Style Politics,” Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures (New York City: The New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1990), p. 249] By employing pubic hair...
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1990s Contemporary Lorna Simpson Art

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Silver Gelatin

Untitled, 1995 Electrostatic heat transfer on white felt
By Lorna Simpson
Located in Surfside, FL
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Easy To Remember (15 Mouths)
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21st Century and Contemporary Lorna Simpson Art

Lorna Simpson art for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Lorna Simpson art available for sale on 1stDibs. You can also browse by medium to find art by Lorna Simpson in fabric, felt, screen print and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th century and is mostly associated with the contemporary style. Not every interior allows for large Lorna Simpson art, so small editions measuring 6 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of James Brown, Chris Verene, and Janet Fish. Lorna Simpson art prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $1,553 and tops out at $12,500, while the average work can sell for $6,625.

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