Lorna Simpson: “Unanswerable” at Hauser & Wirth, London | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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Lorna Simpson: “Unanswerable” at Hauser & Wirth, London

“Ice 4”, 2018, by Lorna Simpson, Ink and acrylic on gessoed wood panel, 144 x 1 3/8 in, Hauser & Wirth, © Lorna Simpson
(Courtesy: Hauser & Wirth Photo: James Wang)

This spring the Hauser & Wirth gallery presents a new collection of mixed-media works by Lorna Simpson. Featuring paintings, sculptures and photographic collages, the enigmatic exhibition is titled “Unanswerable”. The gallery’s London venue will host the artist’s recent creations until April 28, 2018.

“Unanswerable,” features new and recent work across three different media: painting, photographic collage and sculpture. Simpson came to prominence in the 1980s through her pioneering approach to conceptual photography, which featured striking juxtapositions of text and staged images and raised questions about the nature of representation, identity, gender, race and history. These concerns are reflected throughout the exhibition to present the artist’s expanding and increasingly multi-disciplinary practice today.

Simpson continues to develop the language of the found image as a source for her work, incorporating photographs from her collection of vintage Ebony and Jet magazines from the 1950s to the 1970s. The theme of natural elements appears as a metaphor throughout the exhibition and in new sculptural works as glistening ‘ice’ blocks made of glass and, in one instance, an oversized ‘snowball’ made of plaster on top of which a small female figure perches precariously. The combination of the absurd and the association of the expression “to snowball,” alludes to an unstoppable force that gathers momentum with the potential to slip out of control. 

In further works, such as “5 Properties” (2018), Simpson creates an interplay between the sculptural elements, calling into question the distinction between the plinth and the whole. A bronze head rests on top of copies of Ebony and Jet magazines and a block of glass “ice”. Another stacked sculpture comprises piles of magazines glimpsed through thick glass cubes that distort the cover imagery and lend an impression of being anchored or weighed down. 

The exhibition is on view through April 28, 2018 at Hauser & Wirth, 23 Savile Row, London W1S 2ET- UK.

For details, visit: www.hauserwirth.com          

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the exhibition.