The Mysterious Darkness of Paintings By Lorna Simpson

Simpsons Portrait

Massive panels in “Darkening,” a new exhibition of paintings by Lorna Simpson at Hauser & Wirth, drown the viewer in blues, some of which are so intense that they are almost black. Using graduated ink-wash saturations over gesso.

Simpsons Portrait creates landscapes and seascapes that are reminiscent of Chinese shan Shui compositions or J. M. W. Turner. But she also incorporates cultural artifacts into these natural viewpoints. In the painting “Blue Turned Temporal,” meaningless thin strips of what appears to newspaper text layered into a mountain.

The heads and bodies of models from Ebony magazine engulfed in inky waters. I got lost staring at the series’ tallest work, “Specific Notation.” Which stands twelve feet tall and threatens to reach the gallery’s ceiling. The bottom two-thirds of the canvas covered in circular stains that resemble underwater rock formations.


Portraiture, tableau, and repetition are common motifs in Simpson’s work; the use of these traditional artistic techniques becomes co-opted and subverted in her hands as a way to emphasize the long-standing objectification of Black bodies.

Simpson’s work contributes to “intertextuality” by contrasting language and imagery. This mode depends on the artist’s coupling of each in ways that cause the viewer to reevaluate their initial perceptions of what a word or a picture means. This method frequently used in her body of work to reconsider the past. also, check this topposttoday.

Simpson link to the Post-Blackness movement. In which artists sought to create work that was seen through their own unique life lens, breaking free from being pigeonholed as solely reminiscent of the universal Black experience. She achieves this by incorporating personal memories into her art, even as her portrayals of Black women resonate deeply with the concerns and experiences of her female, Black sisters.


Homer becomes envious of Ned Flanders’ new RV and decides to purchase his own. But we also learn an intriguing fact about Flanders: he lives on the brink of ruin. He is in a lot of debt because he enjoys using credit to buy nice things, which answers the question of why he’s always surrounded the newest and best.

If you think this is something worth investigating, read this book by Max Weber, one of my favorite social scientists of all time. Homer duped a seller and purchased a piece of junk for an exorbitant price.

This last point made me think back to when I purchased my first DSLR and how simple it was for the seller to convince me to purchase items like a 55-250mm lens and other equipment I can’t remember right now. But up until that point, I wasn’t taking my pictures with a DSLR. I used a basic Point & Shoot camera as my main tool so that I could concentrate on composition rather than exposure. Why? because it couldn’t shoot in full manual or in raw. And I believe that this is a good place to start learning photography.


The significance of the various meanings attached to cultural objects, whose primary function is visual. Whether something a photograph or not, it should still be judged in the context of visual culture. All three types of cultural representations—monuments, statues, and portraits—seek to materialize some sort of visual nature that can prompt thoughts and memories in those who view them. In essence, they are there to motivate.

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