Diane Simpson

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Peplum VII, 2016 Ldf, Enamel, Canvas, Colored Pencil, Crayon, Velcro, Aluminum Grid, Screws 50 X 32 X 22 Inches © Courtesy of the Artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey
Diane Simpson

1120 N. Ashland Ave.
3rd Fl. (above Dusty Groove)
60622 Chicago
September 9th, 2016 - October 15th, 2016
Opening: September 9th, 2016 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

River North/Near North Side
Tue-Sat 10-5 and by appointment


Corbett vs. Dempsey is excited to kick off the Fall season, 2016, with Diane Simpson, an exhibition of new work by the artist of the same name.  This is her second solo show at the gallery.

Continuing a line of inquiry that she’s been diligently and exhaustively following since the 1970s, Simpson constructs artworks that examine relationships between clothing and architecture, between design and affect, and between drawing and sculpture.  In seven newly unveiled works – six floor-standing and one wall-hanging – she delves primarily into one form: the peplum.  As Benjamin Chaffee explains in his catalog essay:  “The etymology of the word relates to the Greek word, ‘peplos,’ a long tunic-like garment worn by women in ancient Greece…Today a peplum is a short overskirt designed to be worn over another garment adding a decorative element, a literal flair.”  These are human-scale vertical constructions, most of them featuring disparate materials, many industrial in nature, including aluminum, galvanized steel, LDF and MDF (light and medium density fiberboard), linoleum, spunbond polyester, and foamboard, sometimes accenting or patinating them with crayon, enamel, acrylic, or marker.  Simpson is always acutely aware of angles, plying complexes of nested shapes as she superimposes one upon another, forcing geometry to yield a sort of grace.  The resulting works call into play the constructed quality of human presentation, recalling Hugo Ball’s dada costumes, constructivist painting, and modernist design, but looking like nothing but Diane Simpson.  In the last five years, Simpson has been steadily rising in international visibility, with a stunning survey at the ICA, Boston (2015-16) and a beautiful exhibition at the MCA, Chicago (2016), as well as solo shows in London (Herald St.) and New York (JTT), and group shows in Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, Glasgow, Portland (OR), and Washington DC.  In addition to her new sculptures, Simpson will show several related drawings.  The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color 56-page catalog with essays by Chaffee and Tessa Paneth-Pollak.

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