Laurie Simmons/ Laurie Simmons

United States 1949


Laurie Simmons
Laurie Simmons
United States

Laurie Simmons is an American photographer and filmmaker associated with the Pictures Generation group of artists, and best known for her images of dollhouses, puppets, and dummies. Born in 1949 in Long Island, NY, Simmons graduated from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia in 1971, and moved to New York in 1973.

Her early work depicts dollhouses that evoke Dutch paintings of interiors and the advertisements found in 1950s housekeeping magazines. She questions the veracity of photographic realism and the stereotypes of American culture, as in her Cowboys (1979) series, which places cowboy figurines in outdoor settings and compositions that replicate realistic scale and proportion. Simmons series of dolls and dummies includes Talking Objects (1987–1989) and Walking and Lying Objects (1987–1989), which depict objects such as guns, cameras, and model houses with legs attached. In all of these photographs, Simmons seeks to animate her inanimate subjects and give them psychological expression.

In 2001, Simmons collaborated with architect Peter Wheelwright to design an interactive modernist dollhouse called the “Kaleidoscope House.” The house was decorated with miniature artwork and furniture by contemporary artists and designers. Also in 2001, Simmons began her “Instant Decorator” series, which was based on a 1976 interior decorating book of the same name, that provided templates of household rooms for the client to fill with swatches of fabric and paint samples. The series features works that are collage-like and opulently filled with accessories and characters in dramatic mises en scène. In 2009, Simmons began a new series called “The Love Doll,” featuring a lifesize doll from Japan. This series documents the ongoing days in the doll’s life.

In her recent film, Music of Regret (2006), a woman—played by Meryl Streep—is chased by six dummy suitors. Simmons has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1997 and the National Endowment for the Arts in 1984. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Whitney Biennials of 1985 and 1991.

Laurie Simmons lives and works in New York.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2014Laurie Simmons: Kigurumi And DollarsWilkinson Gallery, LondonSolo
2014Laurie Simmons - Kigurumi, Dollers And How We SeeSalon 94 Bowery, New York City, NYSolo
2014I’m Still HereMagasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, StockholmGroup
2014Consumption – Prix PictetFondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, TurinGroup
2014Vice Magazine’S 13Th Annual Photo ExhibitionPioneer Works - Center for Arts , New York City, NYGroup
2014Performance NowDelaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DEGroup
2014The Thing ItselfYancey Richardson Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2014DomesticityJason McCoy Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2014More MaterialSalon 94 Bowery, New York City, NYGroup
2014Objects & FictionsSenior & Shopmaker Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2014DramedyFort Worth Contemporary Arts, Fort Worth, TXGroup
2013The Love Doll: Days 9-35Tomio Koyama Gallery, TokyoSolo
2013Holiday Pop-up ShopPaula Cooper Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2013Color! American Photography TransformedAmon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TXGroup
20134th Athens BiennaleAgora - Athens Biennial, AthensGroup
2013Woman’s World: Contemporary Views of Women by WomenMuseum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FLGroup
2013PinkThe Columns, SeoulGroup
2013All You Need IS LOVEMori Art Museum, TokyoGroup
2013Light SensitiveNasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NCGroup
2012Laurie Simmons - The Love Doll (Geisha) Days 31-36Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, COSolo
2012Hybrid ImagesThe Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, OHGroup
2012Formative Matters: Simple Childhood PleasuresWeatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NCGroup
2012This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2012MaterialSalon 94 Freemans, New York City, NYGroup
2012The Deconstructive Impulse: Women Artists Reconfigure the Signs of PowerContemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TXGroup
2011Beyond ArchitectureThe Columns, SeoulGroup
2011Streetlife und HomestoriesFotografien aus der Sammlung Goetz - Museum Villa Stuck, MunichGroup
2011Tender is the NightWellington City Gallery, WellingtonGroup
2011CabaretGaleria Ramis Barquet - 57th Street, New York City, NYGroup
2010The Love Doll : Jours 1-17JGM. Galerie, ParisSolo
2010BigMinis - Fetishes of CrisisCAPC - Musée d'art contemporain, BordeauxGroup
20108th Gwangju Biennale - 10,000 LivesGwangju Biennale, GwangjuGroup
2010Pictures by Women: A History of Modern PhotographyMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYGroup
2010Your History is not Our HistoryHaunch of Venison - New York, New York City, NYGroup
2010Tha Visible VaginaDavid Nolan Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010SHOOT!Imago Galleries, Palm Desert, CAGroup
2009Dress Codes: The Third ICP Triennial of Photography and VideoThe ICP Triennial of Photography and Video, New York City, NYGroup
2009We're all gonna die Part ANumber 35, New York City, NYGroup
2009The Puppet ShowFrye Art Museum, Seattle, WAGroup
2009Surveillance from the Doll HouseMireille Mosler Ltd., New York City, NYGroup
2009Talk Dirty to Me…Larissa Goldston Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2009The Glamour ProjectLehmann Maupin, New York City, NYGroup
2008Laurie Simmons - In and Around the HouseGalerie Erna Hécey, LuxembourgSolo
2008Listen Darling… The World is YoursEllipse Foundation, AlcoitãoGroup
2008Facebook: Images of People in Photographs from the CollectionThe Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Poughkeepsie, NYGroup
2008Lawn Boy Meets Valley Girl: Gender in the SuburbsBowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, MEGroup
2007Color Coordinated Interiors 1983Skarstedt Fine Art, New York City, NYSolo
2007Laurie Simmons: Photographs 1998Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, COSolo
2005Laurie Simmons - The Music Of RegretSalon 94, New York City, NYSolo
2004Laurie Simmons - The Instant DecoratorSperone Westwater Gallery, New York City, NYSolo