Laurie Simmons (American, born October 3, 1949) is a photographer and filmmaker associated with the Pictures Generation group of artists, and best known for her images of dollhouses, puppets, and dummies. Born 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 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. She lives and works in New York.

Timeline

1949
Born Long Island, New York, 3 October
1971
B.F.A., Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia
1984
National Endowment for the Arts Grant
1997
Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship
2005
Roy Lichtenstein Residency in Visual Arts, The American Academy in Rome
2006
Distinguished Alumni Award, Temple University
Lives in New York City

Exhibitions

2008
Laurie Simmons, Distrito Cuatro Galeria de Arte, Spain, Art Basel Miami Beach
2007
Photographs 1998, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO
2007
Laurie Simmons, Distrito Cu4tro, Madrid, Spain
2007
Color Coordinated Interiors 1983, Skarstedt Gallery, New York
2007
Laurie Simmons: The Music of Regret and Other Works, The Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn, New York, NY
2006
The Music of Regret, European premiere, Tate Modern, London, UK
2006
The Music of Regret, European premiere, Tate Modern, London, UK
2006
Laurie Simmons, Sperone Westwater, New York, NY
2006
Laurie Simmons: Long House and The Boxes, Greenberg Van Doren, St. Louis, MO
2005
Laurie Simmons: New Photographs, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO
2005
Laurie Simmons: The Long House, Distrito Cu4tro, Madrid, Spain
2005
Laurie Simmons, Terrazzo Gallery, Sperone Westwater, New York, NY
2004
The Instant Decorator, Sperone Westwater, New York, NY
2002
Early Photographs 1978-1979, Skarstedt Fine Art, New York, NY
2002
Galerie 20/21, Essen, Germany
2001
Laurie Simmons, 23 November – 24 December 2001, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO
2000
Laurie Simmons & Peter Wheelwright: Kaleidoscope House, Deitch Projects, New York, NY
2000
Skarstedt Fine Art, New York, NY
1998
Dorfman Projects, New York, NY
1998
Metro Pictures, New York, NY