American, 1960 -
III (Three Wishbones in a Wood Box) Lorna Simpson, 1994 Lorna Simpson is best known for her photography, which often combines images of black women with text as a way to explore society's relationship with race, sex, and ethnicity. Frequently elusive, her works involve the viewer in the creation of their meaning while also confronting the viewer with the underlying racism still found in American culture. Over time, Simpson's work has grown to include sculpture as a way to enrich her explorations of the relationship between words and image. With this piece, Simpson continued with that focus, and centered on the wishbone, a key of her artistic imagery. Drawing on the metaphorical meanings of the project's materials, Simpson used III as both an examination of and meditation on wishing. The set includes a wooden box filled with three contrasting wishbones, or "wishes," made from bronze, ceramic, and rubber. The bronze and rubber wishbones are unbreakably rigid and unbreakably flexible. The ceramic wishbone was designed to be fragile, which was the artist's intention.