Lorna Simpson (b. 1960) Necklines, 1989 Three silver gelatin prints, two engraved plastic plaques 69 3/8 × 67 5/8 × 1 5/8 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Emily and Jerry Spiegel, New York 2003.2.5a-e

The three images in Necklines show different perspectives of a person’s neck. Placed below the photographs is a list of words playing on the word neck, creating a suggestive relationship between imagery and language that complicates the interpretation of the work as a whole. While the visible portions of the lower face offer no clues, the text seems to hint at a broad yet undecipherable narrative.

© Lorna Simpson. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth