Edition of 53, 10 AP
Left image/plate size: 28 7/8 x 21 9/16 inches (73.3 x 54.8 cm)
Right image/plate size: 28 7/8 x 16 inches (73.3 x 40.6 cm)
Overall image/plate size: 28 7/8 x 39 3/4 inches (73.3 x 101 cm)
Paper size: 35 1/2 x 45 1/2 inches (90.2 x 115.6 cm)
Frame size: 37 3/4 x 47 3/4 inches (95.9 x 121.3 cm)
Initialed and dated lower right, numbered lower left, recto
The accompanying text reads, “What should fit here is an oblique story about absence, but I can’t remember the short version.”
The text at the bottom of the piece reads, “What should fit here is an oblique story about absence, but I can’t remember the short version.”
In this work by Lorna Simpson, a photograph of a pair of a woman’s empty dress shoes standing on a specific but unidentifiable floor is juxtaposed with the pedals of an old upright piano situated in an unidentifiable and light-less space. Simpson’s addition of watercolor to the shoes could reference the human touch in the subject matter or the tradition of hand-tinting in nineteenth-century photographs. Both of these perhaps suggest a narrative engaging familial history and/or loss. Below the image, Simpson has printed an intentionally open-ended text that reads, “What should fit here is an oblique story about absence, but I can’t remember the short version.” By leaving so much open-ended, Simpson reminds the viewer that even the seemingly familiar is more complicated than one initially assumes.
Simpson is well known for her work that addresses issues ranging from race and sexuality, to ideas of the body, to interpersonal communication and relationships. She has been inspired by various sources, including personal experience, the current political climate, and African-American culture and history.