Lorna Simpson American

Not on view

Lorna Simpson uses conceptual approaches to question the ways in which images convey meaning. Her striking juxtapositions of text and staged photographs, like her iconic cropped shots of African American women accompanied by captions, confront conventional understandings of gender, identity, race, and historical memory. In the early 1990s, she began creating curious sculptures of wishbones in various materials as meditations on the body in both its fragility and resilience.

This set features three such objects encased in a wooden box, each crafted differently in ceramic, bronze, and rubber. The alchemical transformation of bone into these substances underscores the nature of the human body as both solid and flexible, delicate and strong. Simpson’s choice of media in molding her wishbones—objects meant to be snapped upon the making of a wish—seem to suggest that some wishes can be easily granted while others are impossible to fulfill.

Simpson produced III for the collector Peter Norton, who commissioned an edition of 5,000 to be mailed as a holiday greeting.

III, Lorna Simpson (American, born Brooklyn, New York, 1960), Cedar box containing felt, ceramic, bronze, and silicone rubber

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