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Tags for: Rose B. Simpson: Strata
  • Special Exhibition
A photo of a seated woman in a black T-shirt with elbows on thighs and hands clasped

Rose B. Simpson. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Minesh Bacrania

Rose B. Simpson: Strata

Sunday, July 14, 2024–Sunday, April 13, 2025
Location:  ATRM Atrium
Ames Family Atrium

About The Exhibition

Rose B. Simpson (b. 1983) has envisioned a site-specific project for the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Ames Family Atrium titled Strata. Simpson’s installation is the second artwork commissioned specifically for the expansive, light-filled space. According to the artist, Strata is inspired by time spent in Cleveland, “the architecture of the museum, the possibility of the space, tumbled stones from the shores of Lake Erie,” as well as her own Indigenous heritage and the landscape of her ancestral homelands of Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico, where she was born and raised and where she lives and works. 

Strata comprises two 25-foot-tall figural sculptures that tower above the heads of visitors. Constructed from the artist’s signature clay medium, in addition to metalwork, porous concrete, and cast bronze, the figures’ layers mimic rock eroded through geologic time and the structural materiality of man-made architecture. Intricate welded metal structures mounted to the heads of each figure, intended to cast shadows, mimic the structures of the mind in relationship to time and space.  

Simpson’s heritage and identity as a Native woman has greatly impacted her work. She is from a long line of women working in her Kha’po Owingeh (Santa Clara Pueblo) tribe’s ceramic tradition dating back to the 500s CE. Her ceramic figures represent a bold intervention in colonial legacies of dependency, erasure, and assimilation. Simpson balances her tribe’s inherited roots of a ceramic tradition with modern methods, materials, and processes, incorporating elements like metalwork and concrete.  

Simpson has had solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, ICA Boston, the Wheelwright Museum, and the Nevada Art Museum, and is represented in museum collections including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Princeton University Art Museum, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. She is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including a Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship, a Women’s Caucus for Art President’s Award for Art & Activism, and was recently appointed by President Biden to the Institute of American Indian Arts Board of Trustees.  

The CMA’s presentation of Rose B. Simpson: Strata includes a richly illustrated catalogue with contributions by Nadiah Rivera Fellah, the CMA’s associate curator of contemporary art; Anya Montiel, curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian; Karen Patterson, executive director at the Ruth Foundation; Natalie Diaz (Mojave / Akimel O’odham), Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University; and artists Rose B. Simpson and Dyani White Hawk (Sicangu Lakota).  


All exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Exhibitions. Principal annual support is provided by Michael Frank and the late Pat Snyder, the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation, the John and Jeanette Walton Exhibition Fund, and Margaret and Loyal Wilson. Generous annual support is provided by an anonymous supporter, the late Dick Blum and Harriet Warm, Gary and Katy Brahler, Cynthia and Dale Brogan, Dr. Ben and Julia Brouhard, Brenda and Marshall Brown, Richard and Dian Disantis, the Jeffery Wallace Ellis Trust in memory of Lloyd H. Ellis Jr., Leigh and Andy Fabens, the Frankino-Dodero Family Fund for Exhibitions Endowment, Florence Kahane Goodman, Janice Hammond and Edward Hemmelgarn, Marta Jack and the late Donald M. Jack Jr., Carl T. Jagatich, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, William S. and Margaret F. Lipscomb, Bill and Joyce Litzler, the Roy Minoff Family Fund, Lu Anne and the late Carl Morrison, Jeffrey Mostade and Eric Nilson and Varun Shetty, Tim O’Brien and Breck Platner, William J. and Katherine T. O’Neill, Michael and Cindy Resch, Betty T. and David M. Schneider, Paula and Eugene Stevens, the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Claudia Woods and David Osage.

    The Cleveland Museum of Art is funded in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

    This exhibition was supported in part by the Ohio Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Ohio and the National Endowment for the Arts.

    logotypes for Cuyahoga arts and culture and the Ohio Arts Council