Lorna Simpson

Wigs (portfolio)

(Brooklyn, New York, 1960 - )


waterless lithograph felt

Collection of the Akron Art Museum

Museum Acquisition Fund in honor of the 25th anniversary of Dr. Barbara L. Tannenbaum’s tenure as curator at the Akron Art Museum


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Lorna Simpson uses photography and film to challenge standard views of gender, race, history and memory. Wigs, a portfolio of printed images pinned up in a manner similar to typological specimens, alludes to the role of hair in the identities we construct for ourselves and others. The artist describes, “the wigs act as a surrogate for the body or the presence of a person. The wearer of the wigs can either become someone else or become closer to the person one aspires to be, either embracing or cutting across a particular stereotype or blurring the lines between masculinity and femininity.” The text panels between the wigs allude to historical situations in which personal appearance has been critical to the way people were treated.

Installation Art
Text in art