Collages

Lorna Simpson, 1960-

Book - 2018

This book showcases the exquisite collage work of internationally acclaimed artist Lorna Simpson. Combining vintage advertising images of Black women and men with colorful ink washes, striking geological formations, and dreamy skyscapes, Simpson creates fantastical coiffures that pay homage to the beauty of Black hair. A lyrical introduction by eminent poet Elizabeth Alexander rounds out this volume.

Saved in:
1 copy ordered
Subjects
Published
San Francisco : Chronicle Books [2018]
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
ISBN
9781452161143
1452161143
Main Author
Lorna Simpson, 1960- (-)
Other Authors
Elizabeth Alexander, 1962-
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Contemporary artist Simpson is well regarded for her conceptual photography, which explores the image of African American women through the lenses of gender, culture, and history, often with a focus on hairstyles, as evidenced by the works presented here. A brief introduction by poet/scholar Elizabeth Alexander illuminates the experiences of black women expressed in Simpson's art. Also included is an artist statement, derived from phrases in the advertisements from which Simpson pulled the images in the collages. With the earliest works dating back to 2011, the most recent from 2017, this is strictly a catalog of Simpson's collages and does not feature a biography, exhibition history, or critical interpretation. Those seeking an analysis of the work should consider monographs by Kellie Jones and others or by Okwui Enwezor, Helaine Posner, and Hilton Als instead. VERDICT Will be a valuable resource for readers well acquainted with Simpson's career while piquing the interest of those less familiar. Readers interested in art featuring African American women and themes of beauty will also be captivated.—Shannon Marie Robinson, Drexel Univ. Libs., Philadelphia Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Hair plays significantly in the work of Brooklyn artist Simpson, as poet Elizabeth Alexander notes in her introduction to this electrifying monograph of Simpson's collages: "Black women's heads of hair are galaxies unto themselves, solar systems, moonscapes, volcanic interiors. The hair paints has a mind of its own. It is sinuous and cloudy and fully alive. It is forest and ocean, its own emotional weather. " The collages, reproduced one per page within, pair raw gemstones with photographs, mostly of black women, collected from vintage advertisements. The women's hair are made up of the crystalline or shiny black stones, honoring the multidimensional quality of natural hair. The gemstone collages are presented as vintage scientific plates, the conglomerations of women and minerals. In the latter half of the book, the collages are simpler but equally as bold, each construction featuring a single cutout with hair rendered in flame or wave-like washes of paint. Simpson's use of repeated motifs mimics the mass production of fashion magazines, and she occasionally includes snippets of phrases taken from the original ads where the images first appeared ("Put on your Afro pony tail and swish those superflies away!"). Simpson's collages maintain an element of surprise and visual power page after page. Color illus. (Apr.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

This volume collects 160 collages by contemporary American artist Lorna Simpson, which use advertising photos of women and men drawn from vintage issues of Ebony and Jet magazines, and explore the language of hair, particularly that of African American women. Annotation ©2018 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"Black women's heads of hair are galaxies unto themselves, solar systems, moonscapes, volcanic interiors."—Elizabeth Alexander, from the IntroductionUsing advertising photographs of black women (and men) drawn from vintage issues of Ebony and Jet magazines, the exquisite and thought-provoking collages of world-renowned artist Lorna Simpson explore the richly nuanced language of hair. Surreal coiffures made from colorful ink washes, striking geological formations from old textbooks, and other unexpected forms and objects adorn the models to mesmerizingly beautiful effect. Featuring 160 artworks, an artist's statement, and an introduction by poet, author, and scholar Elizabeth Alexander, this volume celebrates the irresistible power of Simpson's visual vernacular.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"Black women's heads of hair are galaxies unto themselves, solar systems, moonscapes, volcanic interiors.""Elizabeth Alexander, from the IntroductionUsing advertising photographs of black women (and men) drawn from vintage issues of Ebony and Jet magazines, the exquisite and thought-provoking collages of world-renowned artist Lorna Simpson explore the richly nuanced language of hair. Surreal coiffures made from colorful ink washes, striking geological formations from old textbooks, and other unexpected forms and objects adorn the models to mesmerizingly beautiful effect. Featuring 160 artworks, an artist's statement, and an introduction by poet, author, and scholar Elizabeth Alexander, this volume celebrates the irresistible power of Simpson's visual vernacular.