Art@Bainbridge | Witness / Rose B. Simpson

Rose B. Simpson (Tewa Pueblo, born 1983, Santa Clara Pueblo, NM; active Santa Clara Pueblo), Femme, 2020. Ceramic, metal, and mixed media, 76.2 × 30.5 × 30.5 cm. Collection of Emily and Mike Cavanagh

The sculptural figures in Rose B. Simpson’s installation Witness invite visitors to reflect on fundamental aspects of being human—as sentient, reactive, and impactful. Simpson’s work interrogates the human condition as an accumulation of lived experiences, distilling specific aspects of such moments in her own life into each sculpture. Through her work, Simpson seeks the tools to heal the damages she has experienced as a human being—issues such as objectification, stereotyping, and the disempowering detachment of our creative selves through modern technology. Traces of such experiences attach to the sculptures’ bodies or heads, where humans absorb and process information, while their accoutrements and upright posture, with heads held high, confirm the dignity of individuals who accept these experiences. The sculptures seek empathetic responses from those who witness them; they look back at us, demanding introspection and acknowledgment of our actions. Simultaneously, Simpson’s slap-slab clay construction method preserves impressions of her hands and fingerprints; she accepts these imperfections as inevitable. The resulting works are—like all people—the sum of their experiences.

View an online gallery of works in this exhibition.

Download the exhibition brochure (PDF).

Art@Bainbridge is made possible through the generous support of the Virginia and Bagley Wright, Class of 1946, Program Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art; the Kathleen C. Sherrerd Program Fund for American Art; Joshua R. Slocum, Class of 1998, and Sara Slocum; Barbara and Gerald Essig; and Rachelle Belfer Malkin, Class of 1986, and Anthony E. Malkin. Additional support is provided by Sueyun and Gene Locks, Class of 1959; the Humanities Council; and The Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative at Princeton (NAISIP).