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Simpson, Lorna
U.S. (1960 - )
Square Deal
Internal dye diffusion transfer print (Polacolor)
23 7/8 x 19 15/16 in. (60.6 x 50.6 cm) image and sheet size; 29 x 25 x 2 in. (73.7 x 63.5 x 5 cm) frame size; 52 x 105 in. (132.1 x 266.7 cm) installed size
Joseph and Elaine Monsen Photography Collection, gift of Joseph and Elaine Monsen and The Boeing Company
FA 97.155.1
Keywords: Portrait (female); Woman artist; African American artist

Lorna Simpson uses photography to present the black female body as a site for examining the subconscious and culturally defined ways in which we judge, discriminate, decide, predict or dismiss people purely on the basis of their outward appearance. The majority of Simpson's images are of the body of an anonymous, universal, black woman who is presented iconographically, as a type of "black-femaleness" rather than as an individual. Simpson's original interest in photography was documentary, but she then began to consider the way captions influenced and editorialized seemingly objective images. As a result, she focused more on Conceptual work, and began to set up images and add text to them. She minimalizes the identity of her models in order to maximize the symbolic context of her work, using devices that include hair, masks, gestures, games, shoes and other clothing. Simpson's text is an integral part of the work, intended to place its meaning somewhere between image and text. -- Label copy for After Art: Rethinking 150 Years of Photography, December 4, 1994 to March 26,1995.
Copyright credit: Copyright Lorna Simpson, Courtesy the artist and Salon 94, New York

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