The exhibition at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead is the first retrospective in Europe of Lorna Simpson work and spans 30 years of her practice.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Simpson became well-known in the mid-1980s for her conceptually rigorous and language driven large-scale works combining photographs and text.
Simpson’s work links photography, text, video and archival material. Emphasising a conceptual and performative approach, she works within the charged duality of past and present, word and image and the interplay between still and moving images. Simpson employs the figures of American women and men in these images to challenge conventional views of gender, class, race, culture, history and memory and the ways in which these influence relationships and experiences.
In the mid-1990s Simpson began creating large multi-panel photographs printed on felt after being introduced to the work of Joseph Beuys. Often accompanied by longer texts, the felt works suggest the atmosphere and dialogues of film noir, while provoking ideas of surveillance as well as race and class.
In the last fifteen years, she has turned to film and video works in which individuals engage in enigmatic conversations that seem to address the mysteries of both identity and desire. The exhibition also gathers a large group of watercolors Simpson has created since 2005. In her most recent works she involves an archive of photographs from the 1950s, which she has been adding to by creating her own replicas of these images, posing herself to mimic the originals.
This exhibition has been co-organized by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis, and the Jeu de Paume, Paris, in association with the Haus der Kunst, Munich, and in collaboration with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. Curated by Joan Simon.
Lorna Simpson was born in 1960 in Brooklyn where she now lives and works. RECENT SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS: Lorna Simpson: Works on Paper, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, Colorado (2013);Gathered, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York (2011); Duet, The Studio Museum, Harlem, New York (2007); American Federation of the Arts, travelling to Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Miami Art Museum, Miami, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamzoo, Michigan, Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, South Carolina (2006-7); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2003). SELECTED INTERNATIONAL PRESENTATIONS: Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, London (2014); Hugo Boss Prize Award at the Guggenheim Museum (1998); Documenta XI (2002); Venice Biennale (1990).
BALTIC is a major international centre for contemporary art situated on the south bank of the River Tyne in Gateshead, England. BALTIC presents a constantly changing, distinctive and ambitious programme of exhibitions and events, and is a world leader in the presentation, commissioning and communication of contemporary visual art. BALTIC has welcomed over 5 million visitors, since opening to the public in July 2002.