Ahead of new museum exhibitions in the USA, The Arts Club in London presents a selection of work spanning the career of American photographer Laurie Simmons. Born 1949 and working in the same period as Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger, Simmons uses photography to expose and critique media representation of women. Gender and sexuality are recurring themes in her work and she is notorious for using dolls and miniature objects to create staged realities.
Her latest projects involve a life-size sex doll made up as a geisha. This series of photographs, The Love Doll, demonstrates a progression from her earlier, miniature work and marks an important new direction from Simmons: scaling up her subject has meant new opportunities for locating this “person” within the landscape. The exhibition at The Arts Club will showcase a range of Simmons work from her early 1970s photographs of constructed dollhouse scenes up to her present day pieces from The Love Doll.
Also included in the show are key examples from her acclaimed series, Walking Objects, in which Simmons fuses the human with the non-human, adding legs to inanimate objects such as cameras and gloves. Often nostalgic and always disquieting, Simmons’ images are distinctive and iconic, echoing the loneliness and melancholy of modern life and suggestive of intense, psychological subtext. A fascinating insight into the trajectory of one of America’s most intriguing artists.
Laurie Simmons, 26 January – 25 April, The Arts Club, 40 Dover Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4NP. For more information visit www.theartsclub.co.uk.
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1. Laurie Simmons, The Love Doll Day 31 (Geisha Close-Up), 2011, Fuji Matte Print, 101.6×76.2cm (40x30inches), Copyright the Artist. Courtesy Wilkinson Gallery, London.