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Double Negative

Modern and Contemporary Art

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Double Negative

Artwork Details


Lorna Simpson
American, born 1960




Dye diffusion transfer prints

Accession #

1990.69 a-g


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Currently Not on View


Conceptual artist Lorna Simpson’s work derives its gut-punching power from the evocative, allusive, and deeply unsettling combination of words and images. Here, four stacked photographs of a braided hair piece are accompanied by text panels that slide down from “not” to “noose,” along the way invoking related words (including “knot”) to effect a devastating slippage between the loop of the hair and the loop of a noose. The title “Double Negative” refers not only to the repeated negative phrases (“not”) but also to the double and entwined burdens of racism and sexism that Black women endure.


Purchase with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and Edith G. and Philip A. Rhodes