Solo survey exhibition Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas.
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.”...
Included in group exhibition Women House at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC.
Featuring work by thirty-six global artists, Women House challenges conventional ideas about gender and the domestic space. The exhibition is inspired by the landmark project Womanhouse, developed in 1972 by Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro. With works that disrupted traditional ideas about the home as a feminine realm, Womanhouse was the first female-centered art installation to appear in the Western world. In the new exhibition, Women House, women artists from the 1960s to today examine the persistence of stereotypes about the house as a feminine space.
Through photography, sculpture, installation and video works organized across eight themes, Women House emphasizes the plurality of women’s views on the home. In Walking House (1989), Laurie Simmons creates a playful yet disconcerting image of the female body being consumed by expectations and responsibilities. Laure Tixier’s series Plaid House (Maquette) (2005–11) explores domestic architecture from worldwide cultures in solid-colored felt sculptures that resemble miniature residential homes, tents, towers, or high-rise buildings. Zanele Muholi’s 2007 photograph of a young female couple in South Africa leaning into the warmth of their kitchen stove speaks to the possibility of domestic space as a place of both privacy and freedom...