LIT: The Work of Rose B. Simpson will be the first major solo exhibition to highlight the artistic career of mixed-media artist Rose B. Simpson (born 1983), who is descended from the pueblo of Santa Clara. The exhibition will run from November 4, 2018 through October 6, 2019, in the Klah Gallery of the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
LIT: The Work of Rose B. Simpson will feature new and retrospective work including life-size clay and mixed-media sculptures, clay faces, and monumental figures. The daughter of renowned sculptor Roxanne Swentzell (Santa Clara Pueblo) and metal artist Patrick Simpson, Simpson uses the traditional medium of clay, combined with welded steel and leather. Textured clay surfaces and androgynous subjects appear throughout Simpson’s work. A range of sculptural styles and sizes reflect the trajectory of Simpson’s training from her early years at the Institute of American Indian Arts to her graduate studies at the Rhode Island School of Design.
The exhibition illuminates the self-reflective nature of Simpson’s powerful sculptures. Visitors will see a range of self-portraits that represent the artist at important stages in her life, including her most recent step into motherhood. In the featured sculptural works, Simpson employs a range of elements to capture her interests such as automotive engine parts, a Pueblo dance dress, and armor-like wearable art. The warrior-like figures in Simpson’s pivotal series, Directed, exemplify her diverse skill set and interest in post-apocalyptic themes.
Documentary photos of Simpson working in her studio will accompany a video made especially for the exhibition to underscore Simpson’s accomplishments across artistic media. An illustrated catalog with essays by Native American scholars will accompany the exhibition.