220 E. Chicago
Chicago, IL 60611
This exhibition showcases four decades of work by Laurie Simmons, a pioneer of new directions in art photography. Since the late 1970s, when she began to develop her mature style using props and dolls as stand-ins for people and places, Simmons has explored archetypal gender roles, especially women in domestic settings. The exhibition follows her work and continues to use the theme of the doll and costume play, making her early ideas about private life and public presentation as poignant today as they were in her early career. 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. In addition to her photography, there is a small selection of sculpture and two films: The Music of Regret (2006), starring Meryl Streep interacting with vintage puppets; and My Art (2016), written and directed by Simmons playing the role of an artist who is frustrated with her work and lack of recognition. Simmons's more recent series, such as The Love Doll, feature life-size Japanese dolls in day-to-day scenarios, and How We See, where Simmons hired make-up artists to paint open eyes on her sitters' closed eyelids, examines cultural trends of masking in everyday online interactions. Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera is organized by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.