Lorna Simpson, 'Five Day Forecast' 1991
Tate Modern

Lorna Simpson

Boiler House Level 2 West

Lorna Simpson, Five Day Forecast 1991, Tate. © Lorna Simpson, courtesy Salon 94, New York

Consider how identities are constructed through this artist's provocative text and image artworks

Lorna Simpson belongs to a generation of American artists whose work emphasises questions of race, gender and sexuality, and the systems of discrimination that exist in mainstream society.

Twenty Questions (A Sampler) 1986 and Five Day Forecast 1991 are from early in Simpson’s career. The figure that features in such early works is usually Simpson herself. Her face is not shown so she stands as an intentionally universal representation of the black female body. The plain white shift she wears can be seen to evoke the simple cotton garments worn by African American slaves. It reflects their relative anonymity, and the failure of history to record their individual lives and voices.

In 1985 Simpson began to combine staged photographs with text, examining the processes through which meaning and understanding take place. Her use of repetition and subtle variation was a way to question the impact of words and images on one another. Her work is also characterised by the use of stark black and white or minimal colour, in which details are kept to the bare essentials.

In the later Photo Booth 2008 she uses old photographs which she has bought rather than taken herself, but her interest in repetition and interpretation is still evident.

Curated by Tanya Barson.


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Art in this room


Lorna Simpson Five Day Forecast


Lorna Simpson Photo Booth


Lorna Simpson Twenty Questions (A Sampler)


All rooms in this display

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