Double Portrait, 2013
Screen print on felt panel
Edition of 27
34 1/2 x 40 inches
This work is final sale and not eligible for return.
This silkscreen print on felt panel is a continuation of the Lorna Simpson’s recent collage series based on advertisements found in Ebony and Jet magazines from the 1930s through 1970s. Simpson regards these publications as important archives of American life. In the work, the portraits of two women taken from an Ebony advertisement are printed as a silkscreen on panels of felt, and make reference to the before and after shots found within many magazines of the time. Double Portrait is the first work from Simpson’s current collage series to be printed on felt, a material which the artist has experimented with since the mid-1990s. Working with master printer Luther Davis of Axelle Editions, Simpson has created a silkscreen print which resembles a watercolor, collage and print, all on starched and pressed felt.
Though she began as a documentary photographer, Simpson is best known for her conceptual pairings of text fragments and studio photographs of anonymous African-American women draped in white shifts dresses. These cropped black-and-white photographs, anchored with obliquely disturbing text, often hint at discrimination and violence.
Simpson also creates photography silk screens on felt panels, installations, videos, and drawings. Though her practice has broadened to include still life and landscape, race, and gender remain touchstones for her work. Recently, Simpson has taken up investigations of race and glamour in her photographs, featuring African-American models in classic Hollywood poses. Simpson was the first African-American woman to show in the Venice Biennale (in 1993) and to have a solo exhibition in the Projects
series of the Museum of Modern Art. She enjoyed a mid-career retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2007.