May 1999
Lorna Simpson, Counting   Lorna Simpson
American, born 1960
Counting  1991

photogravure, screenprint on paper; edition 10/60
Collection Walker Art Center
T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 1992

In her work Lorna Simpson often pairs words and pictures to make us think about different ways a story can be told. A simple tale with a beginning, a middle, and an end can be easy to follow, but if you mix up the order of the words and pictures, another story unfolds. Counting lists a number of years, hours, bricks, and hair characteristics. The artwork also shows a woman whose dress is stitched in a traditional African-American pattern, an old brick smokehouse, and braided hair twisted into a bun. By placing these elements together, Simpson creates a work you can "read" in many ways. Your own experiences and imagination help to connect the pieces into a story that is part fact and part fiction.

© 1999 Walker Art Center

The Artwork of the Month is part of the Walker Art Center's "New Definitions/New Audiences" initiative. This museum-wide project to engage visitors in a reexamination of 20th-century art is made possible by the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund.