Double Negative


Lorna Simpson (American, born 1960)




Four dye diffusion color Polaroid prints and three plastic plaques


Each print: 23 7/8 × 19 5/8 inches


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

Accession #

1990.69 a-g

On View

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.

Image Copyright

© Lorna Simpson, courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

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