Works On Paper
Dye diffusion transfer prints (Polaroids), plastic plaques
United States
Overall (each "set"/"body" approx): 74 1/2 × 40 1/4 × 2 in. (189.23 × 102.24 × 5.08 cm)
Not on view

“I’m dealing with the language of stereotypes.” —Lorna Simpson

Simpson combines large-format Polaroid photographs with terse phrases meant to sensitize viewers to the misrepresentation and inaccuracy lurking in everyday words and images. Here Simpson disrupts the usual relationship between the observer and observed by turning her subject away from the camera. This raises a series of questions: Is the figure male or female? A corporate executive or a restaurant employee? Do the verbs (believe, possess, hold, keep, cling, faint, collapse, plunge, descend, fall) paired with the days of the week describe the figure’s mental state? Simpson underscores the ambiguity of images and language to make us reexamine out understanding of racial and sexual identity.

Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
Picture This, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, March 8 - May 25, 1997

Lorna Simpson, Josh Baer Gallery, New York, NY
(Josh Baer Gallery, New York); Purchased by Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), Richmond, Virginia in March of 1993. [1]

[1] Accessioned March 16, 1993. See VMFA Curatorial file.
© Lorna Simpson

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.