Artists on Writers | Writers on Artists: Simone White and Lorna Simpson

For the season premiere of Artists on Writers | Writers on Artists, artist Lorna Simpson joins poet Simone White to talk about being in the practice of a practice, whether or not there is in fact a language to describe both Black experimental art and Black life, how to protect one’s own interiority so that a person can live most fully, and much more. Simpson’s work is currently on view as part of the exhibition “The Double: Identity and Difference in Art since 1900” at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. White’s most recent book, or, on being the other woman, was published this fall by Duke University Press.

This episode of Artists on Writers | Writers on Artists is sponsored by the New-York Historical Society.

A pioneer of conceptual photography, Lorna Simpson first came to attention in the mid-’80s for her large- scale photograph-and-text works that confront and challenge narrow, conventional views of gender, identity, culture, history and memory. Throughout her career, she has used the camera as a catalyst to comment on the documentary nature of found or staged images. Her works have been exhibited at, and are in the collections of, the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Haus der Kunst, Munich amongst others. Important international exhibitions have included the Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, Documenta XI in Kassel, Germany, and the 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy. She was awarded the J. Paul Getty Medal in 2019.

Simone White earned her BA from Wesleyan University, JD from Harvard Law School, and MFA from the New School. She is the author of the full-length collections House Envy of All the World (Heretical Texts, 2010), Of Being Dispersed(Futurepoem, 2016), and Dear Angel of Death (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2018), as well as the chapbooks Dolly (2008) and Unrest (2013). Her most recent, or, on being the other woman, was published this fall by Duke University Press. White has received fellowships from Cave Canem, a 2017 Whiting Award, and was selected as a New American Poet for the Poetry Society of America. She lives in New York and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.