Lorna Simpson, Wow

By Ann Shayne
July 5, 2020

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13 Comments
  • Thank you Kay fo introducing us to the work of Lorna Simpson! I felt a similar awakening when virtually experiencing the ‘quilt paintings’ of Bisa Butler, demonstrating what you say about the power of a link (from CBC Radio in Canada).
    https://www.cbc.ca/radio/q/tuesday-june-23-2020-ricky-martin-bisa-butler-and-more-1.5623400/quilted-portraits-by-bisa-butler-celebrate-the-fabric-of-black-life-1.5623466

  • A post full of riches this morning! Guess what I’ll be doing during my Tour de Fleece spinning? Thank you for bringing Black artists to our attention – but for you, I would not have known about Lorna Simpson.

    Let me mention another Black artist I just met – Rosie Lee Tompkins, a quilter who was subject of a New York Times article a week ago. The Berkeley Art Museum has links so you can go look – and you should!
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/06/26/arts/design/rosie-lee-tompkins-quilts.html

    • My mother lives in the Bay Area and I’m hoping I might be able to see the Tompkins quilts in person. Meanwhile, do you know the work of Faith Ringgold? She may not currently be working with fiber, but at one time she made “story quilts.” I learned of her through her first book for children, “Tar Beach,” illustrated with sections and paintings from the quilt of that title. It’s the story of young Cassie Louise Lightfoot and her dream of flying. I have shared it with preschoolers, mainly, who respond to the magic, but it raises questions for older children, too. The text is brief but includes a page about the union that Callie’s father, an ironworker, can’t join, in those days when “colored” was in common use.

      Another book I love, the memoir “Train Go Sorry” includes a scene of author Leah Hager Cohen’s father reading Tar Beach with a group of Deaf elementary school students, in English and sign language.

      • Tar Beach is so beautiful and sad! At one point, I bought a box of cards with art by Faith Ringgold, the cards had a couple scenes from Tar Beach and I needed to get the book immediately.

  • Thank you for sharing Ann! Isn’t it amazing the art we can see thanks to the internet. It’s not all about tearing people down.

  • So fascinating! Thank you for finding and posting such interesting content!

  • Thank you so much for posting this. I am forty minutes into the conversation between Simpson and Darren Walker, and I am so glad to have it in my life already. I’m really looking forward to learning more about Simpson’s work.

  • Love the music.

  • You are SO right. For years I’ve connected with many artists and museums on twitter, and since the pandemic arrived, the way museums have stepped up their role as educators and educational resources has been nothing short of phenomenal. “There’s so much here,” they say. “Please help yourselves. And please tell us how to make that easier for you.” Not just art museums. Archaeology, sciences, history. There’s so much there.

  • I’m still staying home for all but the most essential stuff, even though numbers look good in the region where I live. I have a safe home, i live with the humans and fur friends I love the most, I have a job I can do 100% from home. So, I’m good. But this week, I have been missing museum trips hard. These links look amazing, and now I’ve got to do more online checking on my small local museums too. They really need our support.

  • OMG the ladies with their heads on fire! Whether it’s anger or just working so hard your head overheats (state health dept worker here) I LOVED these. Thank you very much.

  • I share her sentiment about “the process”. I remember when my cousin was mentoring me through my first knitting project 30 years ago. It was a baby sweater riddled with mistakes, She was looking for a way to gently critique and said “Have I ever told you what a great quilter you are?!?” (my previous passion). I laughed and told her it didn’t matter, because it was the process that got me. Many years and many skeins later, it still is.

  • Thank goodness for snippets, as I would have otherwise missed this and the wonderful rabbit hole I just went down!