Black women’s heads of hair are galaxies unto themselves,” poet and professor Elizabeth Alexander writes in her introduction to Lorna Simpson Collages, a new book of that artist’s work. Much of Simpson’s career has been dedicated to documenting the specificity and breadth of black womanhood, and this collection continues in that vein. Black women’s hair, that fraught matter, is not simply the inspiration for this set of collages; it is the subject.
Simpson has long exhumed the ghosts of American history through her presentation of modern subjects, and the collection grants new life to images taken from magazines by layering them with multimedia flourishes and with consumer copy. Simpson’s own artist statement reflects the thorny sources she pulled from: It’s composed, she notes, entirely of “phrases culled from the advertising that originally accompanied many of the images that appear within the collages.”
That Simpson would have a facility with integrating found images isn’t surprising; while the artist gravitates toward photo-based mediums, she’s also painted, drawn, directed, and sculpted. She’s used wigs as props, her own body as a subject. She’s familiarized herself with the smoky allure of charcoal. Simpson’s work is distinctive, the patterns of her photography and collages often immediately recognizable. Simpson’s images operate in concert with the texts that frequently share their plane—her art is a study in meticulous harmony.
more recommended stories
Groundbreaking Night for Women and Diversity, While a Trump Critic Falls | The New York Times
HARTLAND, Wis. — Former Gov. Tim.
On the House | Buying home for first time still exciting at age 75 | The Columbus Dispatch
On Tuesday, Joyce Mayne bought her.
Aretha Franklin’s Revolution | The Atlantic
If the Great Migration could be.
Aretha Franklin, the legendary Queen of Soul, is dead at 76 | Vox
Aretha Franklin, the legendary Queen of.
How a historian turned artist discovered it’s never too late to start over | The Lily
After a distinguished career as a.
How a black, firefighting union president plans to take on Scott Walker | Vox
When voters in Wisconsin go to.
Photos trace the broad history of Japanese photography from the 1880s to the 21st century
By Grace Aldridge Foster “Simmon: A.
The Massacre of Black Sharecroppers That Led the Supreme Court to Curb the Racial Disparities of the Justice System | Smithsonian.com
The sharecroppers who gathered at a.
Philadelphia Printworks: Activism Never Looked so Good | Shoppe Black
Philadelphia Printworks is a conscious clothing.
The Common App Will Stop Asking About Students’ Criminal Histories | The Atlantic
The nonprofit organization behind the Common.