Lorna Simpson

Salon 94 | Freemans

One intriguing aspect of midcareer retrospectives is that they typically herald a new phase in an artist’s practice, a reinvention. Take for example Lorna Simpson, who recently, a year and a half after her mid-career survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art, had a two-part exhibition at Salon 94. Marking a significant shift from her large-scale photographs juxtaposing figure and text, her new work, including two series of drawings, imparts an intimacy and directness underpinned by the seminal themes of her practice: race and gender. While her latest offerings continue to blend formal and conceptual approaches in order to explore symbolic systems, they do so through fluid experimentation, at times nearing abstraction.

The uptown gallery featured Photo Booth (all works 2008), an installation interspersing fifty found black-and-white photo-booth portraits—images of poised black men

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