The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents 'Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera'
Laurie Simmons, Orange Hair/Snow/Close Up, 2014. Photo: courtesy the artist and Salon 94 © Laurie Simmons.


FORT WORTH, TX.- Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera is on view to the public at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth from October 14, 2018, through January 27, 2019, and will travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, February 23 through May 5, 2019, where it will be overseen by Omar Kholeif, Manilow Senior Curator and Director of Global Initiatives. The exhibition is organized by Andrea Karnes, senior curator, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, with full support of the artist.

This exhibition showcases the artist's photographs spanning the last four decades, from 1976 to the present, a small selection of sculpture, and two films.

Simmons's career-long exploration of archetypal gender roles, especially women in domestic settings, is the primary subject of this exhibition and is a topic as poignant today as it was in the late 1970s, when she began to develop her mature style by using props and dolls as stand-ins for people and places. Often isolating the dolls and photographing them situated in tiny, austere settings, in series such as Early Black & White, 1976-78, Simmons uses fictional scenes to make observations about real life. These works are now iconic of her career. "Simmons's imagery takes into account her own experience of coming of age in the 1950s," says Andrea Karnes, senior curator at the Modern and organizer of this exhibition. "Without being autobiographical or spelling out specific narratives, however, the work strikes a psychological chord, seeming to underscore the difficulties of living the American dream, or in a larger context, any dream of domestic bliss."

By creating compositions that at times merge actual interior or exterior spaces with dolls and miniatures, and by placing props alongside functional objects, Simmons could explore her other central interest, to which photography lends itself so well: manipulating scale. The namesake image for this exhibition, Big Camera/Little Camera, 1976, from Early Black & White, illustrates this point. The actual camera in the image, which is juxtaposed with a miniature camera, was given to Simmons by her father, who was a dentist by trade and took up photography in his free time. "I put the two cameras together for scale," Simmons explains, "and as a metaphor - real life versus fiction. It was also a statement about what I intended to do with the camera."

After graduating from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia in 1971, then living in upstate New York and subsequently traveling through Europe while living out of her car, Simmons moved to a loft in the then-low-rent Bowery section of Manhattan. To make a living, she worked as a freelance photographer for a dollhouse miniature company, and in her off hours she pursued her main ambition of becoming an artist. Influenced by her day job, Simmons began to photograph dolls and small plastic objects, particularly those from the 1950s, the era of her childhood. Describing these early works, Simmons has said, "I was simply trying to recreate a feeling or mood from the time I was growing up: a sense of the fifties that I knew was both beautiful and lethal at the same time."

A carefully chosen group of props preserved by the artist over the years, such as those used to create these early photographs, is on display in Big Camera/Little Camera. This ephemera offers new insight into Simmons's process, disclosing her longstanding fascination with models and fleshing out her use of color-coding to organize vignettes into cohesive and precise imagery.

The exhibition includes other crucial series that show the evolution of Simmons's work from female domains to notions of masculinity, such as Cowboys, 1979. Family Collision, 1981, addresses the psychology and dynamics of family. Medium- to large-scale works from the artist's seminal series, Color Coordinated Interiors, 1982-83, which investigates the formal characteristics of color, shape, and light; Tourism, 1983-84, a series of posed dolls set against postcards of famous tourist sites; and Clothes Make the Man, 1990-92, depicting male ventriloquist dummies in various attire from beach-casual to black tie, also are on view. Humorous and strange, Clothes Make the Man symbolizes the aspirations of men and the falsehoods that can come about by acting the part - here Simmons is literally dressing up the dummy.

One of the artist's most well-known series, Walking & Lying Objects, begun in 1987, reveals an important shift in her oeuvre: It marks the first time Simmons uses larger-than-life props, as opposed to miniatures, and with these works, she increases the scale of her prints. People pose wearing giant props, hiding their faces but showing their legs. The personified objects probe the question of the importance of "props" with respect to humanity by representing the items we rely on to help define who we are. A birthday cake, house, camera, and hourglass, for example, animated by human legs, symbolize milestones, the passage of time, and how we record and remember past moments.

The exhibition also presents Simmons's more recent series, such as The Love Doll, 2009-11, which features high-end, life-size Japanese dolls in day-to-day scenarios. Just as Walking Objects represents a transition to monumental props, The Love Doll moves away from dolls in miniature, a change that jars our sense of space and scale in a new way - and yet the added element of strangeness is not unlike that evoked by the miniatures. Her latest body of work, How We See, 2015, shows another iteration of the artist's long-term interest in gender roles. For these images, Simmons hired make-up artists to paint open eyes on her sitters' closed eyelids. Photographing models with closed eyes that appear to be open examines cultural trends of masking in everyday online interactions. Simmons says, "Social media allows us to put our most perfect, desirable, funny, and fake selves forward, while naturally raising questions about our longings, yearnings, and vulnerabilities. In How We See, I'd like to direct you how to see while also asking you to make eye contact with ten women who can't see you."

Two films by Simmons are being showcased in this exhibition. The first, The Music of Regret, 2006, is being shown within the gallery space. The 35 mm film is a mini-musical in three acts and grew out of three distinct photographic series by Simmons: Early Interiors, Walking Objects, and Café of the Inner Mind. The theme of regret is underscored as vintage puppets interact with actress Meryl Streep, who plays the lead role.

My Art, 2016, is being shown as a feature film in the auditorium during the run of the exhibition. Simmons, who wrote and directed My Art, plays the role of an artist living in New York who is frustrated with her work and lack of recognition. Embarking on a new project, she begins to reimagine shot-for-shot vignettes from her favorite movies. Art and life collide in My Art when the film scenes mirror unfolding relationships in her life. The film debuted in September 2016 at the Venice Film Festival and premiered in North America at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, where it received high accolades.

Laurie Simmons is an internationally recognized artist who has had solo exhibitions at MoMA PS1, Long Island City, New York; Artists Space, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Baltimore Museum of Art; San Jose Museum of Art; Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden; Neues Museum, Nuremberg, Germany; The Jewish Museum, New York; and Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis. Her work has been featured at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Zurich; New Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and many others.






Today's News

January 3, 2019

Exhibition at the Israel Museum presents six decades of the Russian Avant-Garde

Gainsborough's family album on view at the National Portrait Gallery, London

Exhibition invites visitors to look at photographs with a conservator's eye and see them anew

Trump mocks Indian PM for library in Afghanistan

Best of Bauhaus: TASCHEN publishes the definitive reference work, now in a compact format

Exhibition features artworks from more than 50 cultures across North America

Yale Center for British Art presents apocalyptic floodscapes from John Martin to John Goto

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival announces its 2019 spotlight on Carrie Mae Weems

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents 'Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera'

The High Line presents a video exhibition of three works by Merce Cunningham

Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal announces the international tour of its Leonard Cohen exhibition

David Voyles named Deputy Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Historic Medici and Lorraine Gem Collection on view for the first time

Arts + Leisure presents an exhibition of new sculptures by Johnston Foster

Kunstmuseen Krefeld is presenting Volker Döhne's first large-scale museum retrospective

'Two Sides of the Border' on view at the Yale School of Architecture

Austrian artist Nikolaus Gansterer announced as the winner of the MAC International prize

Lyons Wier Gallery opens exhibition of paintings by Chelsea Gibson

Para Site presents a major selected retrospective exhibition of the work of Ellen Pau

First edition of INK NOW Art Expo to be held from 19-21 January 2019

Suzanne Heggie Werner joins Shaker Museum │ Mount Lebanon Board of Trustees

Newly discovered Rogie Vachon 'smiley' goalie mask emerges in upcoming Platinum Night Auction

Certified video games are coming to Heritage Auctions starting January 6

Exhibition brings the game of chess to life

What Is Bitcoin?

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful