Lorna Simpson: Darkening
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Lorna Simpson: Darkening @ Hauser & Wirth West 22nd Street, New York

Thu 25 Apr 2019 to Fri 26 Jul 2019

Lorna Simpson: Darkening @ Hauser & Wirth West 22nd Street

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Open: temporary closure

548 West 22nd Street, NY 10011, New York Chelsea, USA
Open: temporary closure


Lorna Simpson: Darkening

New York

Lorna Simpson: Darkening
to Fri 26 Jul 2019
temporary closure

Using Black to Paint Light:
Walking Through a Matisse Exhibit
Thinking about the Arctic and Matthew Henson
(an excerpt)

The unanticipated shock: so much believed to be white is actually – strikingly –
blue. Endless blueness. White is blue. An ocean wave freezes in place. Blue.
Whole glaciers, large as Ohio, floating masses of static water. All of them pale
frosted azuls. It makes me wonder – yet again – was there ever such a thing
as whiteness? I am beginning to grow suspicious. An open window.

I am blue.
I am a frozen blue ocean.
I am a wave struck cold in midair.
The wave is nude beneath her blue dress.
Her skin is blue.

– Robin Coste Lewis

Hauser & Wirth presents ‘Lorna Simpson. Darkening,’ the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery in New York.


Hauser Wirth 22nd St Lorna Simpson 1

Hauser Wirth 22nd St Lorna Simpson 2

Hauser Wirth 22nd St Lorna Simpson 3

Debuting a suite of new large-scale paintings, the exhibition finds Simpson returning to and building upon themes and motifs at the center of her practice: explorations focused on the nature of representation, identity, gender, race, and history. For more than 30 years, Simpson’s powerful works have entangled viewers in an equivocal web of meaning, drawing upon techniques of collage through the use of found materials, often culled from the pages of vintage Jet and Ebony magazines. In ‘Darkening,’ Simpson continues to thread dichotomies of figuration and abstraction with vast and enthralling tableaux that subsume spliced photos and fragmented text, abstracted beyond comprehension. Equally arresting and poetic, the paintings engage viewers with layers of paradox, capturing the mystifying allure of an arctic landscape in inky washes of blacks, grays, and startling blues.

Installation view, ‘Lorna Simpson. Darkening,’ Hauser & Wirth New York, 22nd Street, 2019. Photo: Thomas Barratt © Lorna Simpson. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

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