• Diane Simpson
    Tunic (folded)
    2012
    Gatorfoam board, spunbond polyester, and crayon
    34 x 72 x 36 inches

  • Diane Simpson
    Vest (scalloped)
    2010
    copper, linoleum, steel base, wood, and enamel
    56 x 22 x 14 inches

  • Diane Simpson
    Collar / Bib (sections)
    2012
    Light density fiberboard (LDF), enamel, linen canvas, crayon, and colored pencil
    25 x 32 x 9 inches

  • Diane Simpson
    Neckline (extended)
    2011
    Light density fiberboard (LDF), aluminum, enamel, and colored pencil
    85 x 50 x 14 inches

  • Diane Simpson
    Collar (connect the dots)
    2012
    MDF, linen canvas, enamel, ink, and basswood
    48 1/2 x 28 x 13 1/2 inches

  • Diane Simpson
    Yoke
    2012
    MDF, enamel, oil stain, crayon, and aluminum
    64 x 20 x 16 inches

  • Diane Simpson
    Collar (on altered table)
    2010
    wood table, MDF, and enamel
    34 x 25 x 12 inches

  • Diane Simpson
    Collar (fluted)
    2011
    archival cardboard and crayon
    24 x 23 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches

  • Diane Simpson
    Cape (buttressed)
    2011
    MDF, oil stain, acrylic paint, and colored pencil
    27 x 24 1/2 x 7 inches (sculpture);
    18 1/2 x 36 1/2 x 15 inches (base)

  • Diane Simpson
    Cape (SL)
    2011
    Gatorfoam board, spunbond polyester, and crayon
    17 x 50 x 11 1/2 inches

  • Diane Simpson
    Cuffs
    2012
    Wooden plant stand, enamel, MDF, and embossed paper
    48 1/2 x 18 1/2 x 12 inches

  • Diane Simpson
    Study for Tunic (folded)
    2012
    MDF, colored pencil, ink, archival cardboard, and enamel
    40 x 38 x 3 inches

  • Diane Simpson
    Drawing for Collar (on altered table)
    2010
    graphite on two sheets of vellum graph paper with collage
    21 1/2 x 24 inches

  • Diane Simpson
    Drawing for Cape (SL)
    2011
    graphite on two sheets of vellum graph paper with collage
    19 3/4 x 18 1/2 inches

  • Diane Simpson
    Drawings for Collars and Vest with Stand
    2010
    graphite on vellum graph paper with collage
    15 x 21 inches

  • Diane Simpson
    Drawing for Cape (buttressed) and Yoke
    2011
    graphite on vellum graph paper
    18 x 20 1/2 inches

  • Diane Simpson
    Drawing for Tunic (folded)
    2012
    graphite on vellum graph paper
    18 x 22 3/4 inches

  • Installation view


PRESS RELEASE

 

Corbett vs. Dempsey is very pleased to present its first solo exhibition of new sculpture and drawings by Diane Simpson. Since her earliest shows at Artemisia and the Phyllis Kind Gallery in the late 1970s, Simpson has been a major force in Chicago sculpture.  Indeed, Simpson straddles several generations in Chicago art; she attended the School of the Art Institute in the mid 1950s, received her MFA there in 1971, where she was friends with Imagist artists including Christina Ramberg and Ray Yoshida, and she has maintained deep connections with the abstract conceptual artists of the 1980s, including Richard Rezac and Julia Fish.

Exploring a liminal zone between abstraction and figuration, her sculpture starts with intensive studies in fashion, extracting the human (left as an insinuation) and focusing on the architecture of the attire, its inherent tensions and relaxations, out of which Simpson extrapolates entirely original forms.  A collar, a cuff, a hem – each part of a piece of clothing is fodder for formal play, deconstruction and reconstruction.  An intense and detail-fixated craftswoman, firmly in the same Windy City tradition as H.C. Westermann, she has worked in diverse materials, including cardboard, MDF, wood, fabric, paper, aluminum, and vintage linoleum, all with a meticulous finish and an aggressive sense of design.

Early in her career, Simpson introduced a way of making 3-D work that translated from drawings, concentrating on the 45-degree angles that helped define a certain kind of perspective.  She continues this investigation with an important new piece, based on the same set of calculations, as well as unveiling new freestanding, wall hanging, and shelf-based works. Along with these new sculptures, Corbett vs. Dempsey presents several new drawings, executed on graph paper, which stand both as studies for the sculptures and fully-realized, independent works on paper.

Simpson was the subject of a retrospective, Sculpture + Drawings, 1978-2009, at the Chicago Cultural Center (2009). A full-color, 48-page catalog, with essays by John Corbett and Jason Foumberg, accompanies the exhibition.