A year ago, we all knew that we are all connected, and holding close to that belief in connectedness would be the place from which we take a deep breath and try to proceed or try to move forward.
—Lorna Simpson, May 2020
Beginning 16 June, Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong presents Special Characters, the first solo exhibition in Greater China of renowned artist Lorna Simpson. The exhibition features new works from the artist’s 'Special Characters' series, alongside a selection of her recent paintings and photographic collages. In addition to building upon themes that are essential to her practice, including the nature of representation, identity, gender, and race, Simpson incorporates imagery of the natural world, universal elements that transcend human presence. By repurposing and reconfiguring found images—a signature source in her work—Simpson creates her own highly distinctive visual terrain that offers a potent response to American life today.
The exhibition’s focal point are works from Simpson’s ongoing 'Special Character' series, which she first unveiled in 2019. Superimposing women’s faces from fashion and wig ads found in the pages of Ebony magazine, the paintings reveal through repetition the reinforcement of stereotypes in the everyday imagery we consume. In Bright (2020) and Most relevant (2020), vibrant shades of yellow and green wash over women’s faces whose layered gazes meet the viewer’s in uncanny, dreamlike portraits. Evocative of night, the title Constellation link psychological and natural phenomena with images from mass culture, liberating the subject from its history by placing it in this new, otherworldly context.
Press release courtesy Hauser & Wirth.