Lorna Simpson: Gathered presents photographic and other works that explore the artist's interest in the interplay between fact and fiction, identity, and history. On view through August 21, 2011 at the Brooklyn Museum
. Through works that incorporate hundreds of original and found vintage photographs of African Americans that she collected from eBay and flea markets, Simpson undermines the assumption that archival materials are objective documents of history.
In one series, titled May June July August '57/'09, comprising 123 vintage and contemporary black-and-white photographs, Simpson juxtaposes images of young African American women (and an occasional male figure) who posed for pinups in Los Angeles in 1957 with self-portraits in which the artist acts as a doppelganger for each model. She replicates with precise detail the poses and settings of the original photographs, arranging the work in grid patterns. Linking the historical photographs with her staged responses creates a fictionalized narrative in which the two characters appear to be linked across history in a shared identity or destiny.
The exhibition also includes examples of Simpson's series of installations of black-and-white photo-booth portraits of African Americans from the Jim Crow era and a new film work.
Lorna Simpson was born in 1960 in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and her MFA from the University of California, San Diego. After beginning her career as a documentary photographer, Simpson received her first critical recognition in the mid-1980s for a series of large-scale works using photography and text to confront and challenge conventional interpretations of gender, identity, culture, history, and memory. Simpson's work is included in numerous public and private collections, including that of the Brooklyn Museum.