Sunday, October 9, 2016

Lorna Simpson | III

Lorna Simpson
Santa Monica, USA: Peter Norton Family Christmas Edition, 1994
5.3 x 13.6 x 34.6 cm
Edition of 5000

Better known for her use of text with sequential photographic imagery, Simpson’s III is somewhat of an anomaly in her practice. Rather than large and photographic, the work is small and sculptural: three wishbones —made of bronze, ceramic and rubber - are housed in a felt-lined, dovetailed wooden box.

The wishbones are said to refer to the three wishes offered by fairy tale genies. The bronze and rubber wishbones are presented as sturdy and reliable, and the ceramic as fragile. The motif of bones in a portable box harkens back to medieval reliquaries.

Produced in an edition of 5000, the box was published as part of the Peter Norton Family Christmas Edition series. Six years prior, in 1988, the software entrepreneur and art collector began producing works by artists in his collection to send as gifts to friends and members of the art community. The series also includes works by Vic Muniz (an ashtray and plate), Christian Marlcay (the Silent/Listen box), Brian Eno (a reissue of the Oblique Strategies cards), Kara Walker (a pop-up book), Lawrence Weiner (an enamel pin), etc. etc.

Norton is a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, and has donated copies of the projects to be sold through the Museum's gift shop, here. Simpson's edition is available for $275 US, here.

In 1994, Simpson also contributed wishbones to the Act Up box, below.

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