Laurie Simmons Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenburg March 3 – May 20, 2012
Having started her career at age 6, when her father gave her her first camera, Laurie Simmons (1949, New York) is now one of the world's leading figures in conceptual photography. Beginning March 3 and lasting through May 20, the Gothenburg Museum of Art is the first Nordic art-space to hold such a large-scale exhibition of the great artist's work. The show consists of 60 photographs taken in the period starting from the 1970's, spanning all the way to the current day; various sculptures and video works are also mixed in among Simmons' printed images.
Jane. 1988. Courtesy The Artist & Salon 94, New York
Purple Woman/Gray Chair/ Green Rug. 1978. Courtesy The Artist & Salon 94, New York
Simmons used dolls as models in her childhood, and she worked on developing this form of expression after finishing her studies (Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, 1971). In her work “Jane” (1976), one sees figures arranged in a black and white composition, saturated with dramatic lighting; the resulting effect gives the impression that the mute characters have gone through an emotional trial, making them eerily human-like. The said work placed Simmons squarely into “The Picture Generation”, a branch phenomenon of visual art that formed in 1970's and 80's New York. Other notable members of this informal group were Cindy Sherman (1954) and Richard Prince (1949).
The Love Doll/Day 32 (Blue Geisha, Black & White Room). 2011 Courtesy Salon 94, New York
The pioneering coterie was united not only by their research into the history of photography and its technical limits, but also by the way in which they elevated the medium, both in terms of subject matter and visual aesthetics.
The Music of Regret (Meryl). 2006. Courtesy The Artist & Salon 94, New York