Simpson’s most recent series explores perceptions of the body through collages that are both playful and uncanny
Lorna Simpson’s most recent collages blend human forms with objects, animals and backdrops. The arrangements shift between colour and black-and-white — playful and uncanny. A suited woman reclines on a table while a splash of paint cascades down her profile; another gazes out intently, a map of constellations masking her coiffure; faces overlap with faces, still lives, and unexpected fragments of architecture.
“The notion of fragmentation, especially of the body, is prevalent in our culture, and it’s reflected in my works,” writes Simpson in Hauser and Wirth’s virtual viewing room, where the series is currently on show. “We’re fragmented not only in terms of how society regulates our bodies but in the way we think about ourselves.”
The exhibition follows Simpson’s show Darkening, which took over Hauser and Wirth’s New York space in 2019 and was composed of a series of large scale paintings interrogating themes of representation, identity, gender, race, and history. Building upon these subjects through the medium of collage, Simpson juxtaposes unexpected elements to draw out new narratives concerning the body.