• 1978-1988, 1991

    1978-1988, 1991

    4 black and white silver gelatin prints, 13 engraved plastic plaques mounted onto plexiOverall: 48.75 x 67.5 x 1.635 inches (123.8 x 172.1 x 4.2 cm)Each Framed Print: 48.75 x 16.75 x 1.625 inches (123.8 x 42.5 x 4.1 cm)"The four vertical photographs each include an image of two braids fragmented at the top and bottom by the frame. In this images the hair frays, splits, and breaks in areas. The first plaque in the upper left reads 1978, the last in the lower right 1988. Through the combination of image and text, both everything and nothing are revealed. Simpson has shared a hair story that once a year her "hair was braided then cut, the severed piece retained in a plastic bag to prevent its falling into other hands, which could bring bad luck." -Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson

  • Back, 1991

    Back, 1991

    18 Polaroid prints, 9 engraved plastic plaques 98 x 162 inches overall (248.9 x 411.5 cm)"For years, Simpson radically repeated representations of figures turning their backs or refusing to show their faces. This radicalism on her part may be recognized in Foucault's philosophical proposition: by turning away from other's, the figures turn towards themselves, Simpson's characters nevertheless maintain "eyes in the back of their heads," to paraphrase a text from on e of the artist's works." -Elvan Zabunyan

  • Coiffure, 1991

    Coiffure, 1991

    3 black and white silver gelatin prints, 10 engraved plastic plaquesOverall: 72.5 x 106 x 1.875 inches (184.2 x 269.2 x 4.8 cm)Each Framed Print: 43 x 34 x 1.875 inches (109 x 86 x 4.8 cm)"The form repeated in each of the photographs--the woman, a wig, and an African mask, also seen from the back--is oval. The title of the work confirms the importance of hair and its styling to Simpson's subject here. The inclusion of the mask, particularly from behind, indicates a conflation with hair and its styling (wigs in particular) and masking--a way to hide our true selves. She suggests that it is irrelevant whether we are viewed from the front of back because, with coiffure, nothing of ourselves is revealed." -Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson

  • Counting, 1991

    Counting, 1991

    photogravure with silkscreen73 x 38 inches unframed (185 x 96.5 cm)"... a large coil of braided hair repeats the pattern of bricks in the image of a circular slave quarters above it, at once marking the distance and proximity of the past." -Kellie Jones

  • Figure, 1991

    Figure, 1991

    1 black and white silver gelatin print 8 engraved plastic plaquesOverall: 73 x 82.5 inches (185.4 x 209.6 cm)Exact Image Size: 42 x 74 inches (106.7 x 188 cm)"Figure allows us to figure that this figure of a woman from the back, on a black background, wearing black clothes and black shoes, harks back to hypotheses that the word figure can operate according to its various definitions. All these definitions, in one way or another, reinforce the impossibility of arriving at definitive conclusions: the form of what we figure "figures the worst," disfigures itself ("he was disfigured"), becomes suspicious ("figured she [or he] was suspect"), and even envisions the moment prior to the photographic apparatus's presence ("figured on all the times there was no camera")." Elvan Zabunyan

  • Flipside, 1991

    Flipside, 1991

    2 black and white silver gelatin prints, 1 engraved plastic plaque Overall: 51.5 x 70 inches (130.8 x 177.8 cm)Each unframed image: 42 x 33 inches (106.7 x 83.8 cm)"Flipside (1991), which pairs the back side of an African mask with a back view of a woman whose hair is short and curly, alludes to a kind of intracultural scrutiny: its small accompanying panel reads "the neighbors were suspicious of her hairstyle."" -Bonita McLaughlin

  • Myths, 1991

    Myths, 1991

    4 black and white silver gelatin printsOverall: 58.625 x 141 x 1.875 inches (148.9 x 358.1 x 4.8 cm)

  • Odds, 1991

    Odds, 1991

    3 black and white gelatin prints, 8 engraved plastic plaquesOverall: 55 x 114 inches (139.7 x 289.6 cm)Left Image: 28 x 28 inches (71.1 x 71.1 cm)Middle Image: 40 x 54 inches (101.6 x 137.2 cm) Right Image: 40 x 54 inches (101.6 x 137.2 cm)

  • Partitions and Time, 1991

    Partitions and Time, 1991

    1 black and white gelatin silver print50.8 x 61.5 inches (129 x 156.2 cm)

  • Personal Effects, 1991

    Personal Effects, 1991

    2 black and white gelatin prints, 8 engraved plastic plaquesOverall: 56 x 61 inches (142.2 x 154.9 cm)Left Image: 35 x 56 inches (88.9 x 142.2 cm)Right Image: 26 x 35 inches (66 x 88.9 cm)

  • Queensize, 1991

    Queensize, 1991

    2 black and white gelatin prints, 1 engraved plastic plaquesOverall: 102 x 39 inchesTop Image: 39 x 53 inches (99.1 x 134.6 cm)Bottom Image: 39 x 47 inches (99.1 x 119.4 cm)

  • Same, 1991

    Same, 1991

    16 Dye Diffusion color Polaroid prints, 11 engraved plastic plaques Overall: 118 x 82.125 x 1.75 inches (299.7 x 208.6 x 4.5 cm)"A number of Simpson's pieces utilize two or more figures, as if to emphasize that the experiences she alludes to aren't singular or unique but shared by many. This point is made explicitly in Same (1991), a poetic juxtaposition of textual fragments and photographs of two women seen from behind who appear to be connected: due to the arrangement of the photos, by a long, thick braid hanging between them like a bridge. The bits of text--"were disliked for the same reasons," "were not related," "read the news account and knew it could have easily been them," "had never met," among others--don't really form a narrative; yet, along with the wide spaces between the women (who look as though they're one and the same person), they somehow poignantly express severed connections and feelings of loss, fear, and isolation." -Bonita McLaughlin

  • Tense, 1991

    Tense, 1991

    3 black and white gelatin prints, 5 engraved plastic plaquesOverall: 65 x 124 inches (165.1 x 312.4 cm)All Images: 39 x 49 inches (99.1 x 124.5 cm)

  • The Service, 1991

    The Service, 1991

    3 black and white gelatin prints, 4 engraved plastic plaquesOverall Image: 55 x 120 inchesTop Image: 33 x 42 inches (83.8 x 106.7 cm)Middle Image: 36 x 38 inches (91.4 x 96.5 cm)Bottom Image: 36 x 43 inches (91.4 x 109.2 cm)

  • Vantage Point, 1991

    Vantage Point, 1991

    2 black and white gelatin prints, two engraved plastic plaquesOverall: 50 x 70 inches (127 x 177.8 cm)