POSE IS A POSE
by Vince Aletti
THE NEW YORKER, MARCH 7, 2011:
�Gathered,� Lorna Simpson's elegantly installed solo show at the Brooklyn Museum, appears minimal at first. Two pieces sprawl down one long, high-ceilinged gallery, leaving it mostly empty; a video hugs the far wall of an adjacent space. But together those pieces include nearly five hundred elements, most of them photographs, both appropriated and original. A cloud-like constellation of very small bronze-framed images -- vintage photo-booth portraits of African-Americans -- is installed alongside brushy black-ink abstractions and solid blocks of bronze that appear to mark absent figures. Another, larger work mixes found black-and-white photographs, taken in 1957, of a young black woman posing coquettishly, as if for a pinup magazine, with photographs Simpson took of herself as a pert, playful doppelganger, in the same poses. Hung together in a long, staggered grid, these images confuse past and present, artist and model, truth and illusion. As usual, Simpson is meditating on black history, identity, and gender roles, but as her work evolves it also opens up -- it gets richer and more engaging.
Lorna Simpson: Gathered / January 28 - August 21, 2011 / Brooklyn Museum
For more information:
LORNA SIMPSON IS REPRESENTED BY SALON 94, NEW YORK.