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A work made of gelatin silver prints with applied plastic plaques.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver prints with applied plastic plaques.




Lorna Simpson
American, born 1960

About this artwork

Lorna Simpson first became known in the 1980s for work that confronted race, gender, and history. Employing the African American woman as a visual point of departure, she combined large-scale, multi-panel photographs with affixed text in order to put text and image into a poetic confrontation. In Outline, the photographs—a woman with no face, an isolated rope of braided hair—make reference to anthropological studies of Africans whose subjects were stereotypically portrayed in terms of isolated physical features. Simpson provides a voice in the form of text fragments, which join to form new words—”backlash” and “back pay,” for example—that evoke historic and contemporary forms of exploitation.


On View, Gallery 10


Photography and Media


Lorna Simpson




United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1990


Gelatin silver prints with applied plastic plaques


Braid: 30 × 53 cm (11 13/16 × 20 7/8 in.); Back: 121 × 101 cm (47 11/16 × 39 13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Boardroom, Inc.

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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