MODERN ART MUSEUM
The Love Doll/Day 23 (Kitchen)
Fuji Matte Print 52.5 x 70
Courtesy Artist and Salon 94
The Modern - Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera
Exhibition: Oct 14, 2018 - Jan 27, 2019
By: Laurie Simmons
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents a major survey of works by Laurie
Simmons (American, born 1949), organized by Andrea Karnes, senior curator, with
full support of the artist. This exhibition will showcase 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,
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. "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."
The namesake image for this exhibition, Big Camera/Little Camera,
1976, from the series Early Black & White, shows an actual camera juxtaposed
with a miniature camera, which exemplifies Simmons’s other central interest:
manipulating scale. “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.”
The exhibition will include other crucial series, such as Cowboys, 1979; Family
Collision, 1981; Color Coordinated Interiors, 1982-83; Tourism, 1983-84; and
Clothes Make the Man, 1990–92. In one of the artist’s most well-known series,
Walking & Lying Objects, begun in 1987, Simmons uses larger-than-life props as
opposed to miniatures. 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.
The survey also presents Simmons's more recent series, such as The Love Doll,
2009–11, featuring high-end, life-size Japanese dolls in day-to-day scenarios.
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, examining 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.”
Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera is organized by the
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and travels to the Museum of Contemporary Art
Chicago in 2019.
Laurie Simmons, My Art, 2016 will be screened in the Modern's Auditorium.
Click here for dates and times.
Lectures in conjunction with Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera:
Andrea Karnes in conversation with Laurie Simmons October 9, 7 pm
Artist Laurie Simmons discusses the making of the Modern's major survey
Big Camera/Little Camera with the exhibition's curator, Modern Senior Curator
Andrea Karnes. This special presentation offers insight into Simmons's work
featured in the exhibition, her career, and the processes and premise of
Big Camera/Little Camera as a collaborative effort between artist and curator.
The artist is available to sign the exhibition catalogue before the lecture
beginning at 5:30 pm in the Grand Lobby.
Laurie Simmons and Carroll Dunham
November 13, 7 pm
Artist Laurie Simmons is in conversation with her husband, artist Carroll Dunham,
for an extraordinary presentation in which the two renowned artists discuss the
role art plays in their life together and how their life together informs their
art, all in conjunction with the Modern's survey of Simmons's art,
Big Camera/Little Camera.
Lead support for the presentation of Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera at
the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is generously provided by Harper’s BAZAAR,
Jimmy Choo, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
About The Modern Art Museum
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is dedicated to collecting, presenting, and interpreting international developments in post - World War II art in all media and creating a welcoming environment for its public appreciation. The Modern promotes understanding and interest in art and artists through curatorial research and publications, and a variety of educational programs, including lectures, guided tours, classes, and workshops.
The collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is comprised of nearly 3,000 objects, including paintings, sculptures, videos, photographs, and prints. The majority of works in the collection are dated between 1945 and the present. All major, international movements are represented, including Abstract Expressionism; British, German, French, and American Pop; Color Field Painting; Minimalism; Conceptualism; Post-Minimalism; New Image Painting, and Neo - Expressionism. Pop and Minimalism are particularly strong, as is German art of the 1970s and 1980s.
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
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