Laurie Simmons

b. 1949

Born in Long Island, New York, 1949; Lives and works in Northwestern Connecticut

I wanted to make pictures that were psychological, political, subversive. Images from my subconscious that could inform. — Laurie Simmons



YoungArts, Miami

Laurie Simmons

Big Camera/Little Camera
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Laurie Simmons

The Mess and Some New
Salon 94 Bowery

Laurie Simmons

How We See
The Jewish Museum

Laurie Simmons

Kigurumi, Dollers And How We See
Salon 94 Bowery

Laurie Simmons

The Love Doll: Days 1-30
Salon 94 Bowery

Laurie Simmons


Laurie Simmons (b. 1949), a central figure of the Pictures Generation, is a photographer and filmmaker who imbues her subjects (primarily dolls, puppets, and other inanimate human-like entities) with living energy, suffusing synthetic spaces with nostalgia colored by an adult’s memories, longing, and regret. Simmons’s work blends psychological, political, and conceptual approaches to artmaking transforming photography’s propensity to objectify people, especially women, into a sustained critique of the medium. Mining childhood memories and media constructions of gender roles, her photographs are charged with an eerie, dreamlike quality. On first glance, her works often appear whimsical, but there is a disquieting aspect to Simmons’s child’s play, as her characters struggle over identity in an environment in which the value placed on consumption, designer objects, and domestic space is inflated to absurd proportions.

Simmons has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (TX) in 2018, which traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (IL) in 2019; Laurie Simmons: How We See at the Jewish Museum, New York (NY) in 2015; and The Fabulous World of Laurie Simmons at the Neues Museum, Nuremberg (DE) in 2014, among many others. In 2019, Simmons’ photography was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s historic reopening in New York (NY).

The artist is currently included in New Time: Art & Feminisms in the 21st Century at the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive (CA) through January 2022 and Connecting Currents: Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (TX) through Spring 2022. Recent group exhibitions include The Paradox of Stillness: Art, Object, and Performance at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (MN) in 2021; NOT I: Throwing Voices (1500 BCE - 2020 CE) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (CA) in 2020; and Look at Me at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in 2020.

The artist is included in many public collections, including the Art Institute of Chicago (IL); the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge (MA); the International Center of Photography, New York (NY); the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (CA); the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (NY); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (CA); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (NY); the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
(NY); and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (NY), among
many others.



Laurie Simmons and Walter Robinson Enter the Big-Breasted World of A.I. Art
Walter Robinson


Influenced by Her Children, Laurie Simmons Exits Her Comfort Zone
Arthur Lubow

The New York Times

Laurie Simmons and Molly Ringwald are Playing with the Big Boys
Annika Klein and Molly Ringwald


Laurie Simmons: Domestic Eccentricity
Glenn O'Brien

Purple Magazine

A Doll’s House
Calvin Tompkins

The New Yorker

Laurie Simmons by ​Linda Yablonsky
Linda Yablonsky

BOMB Magazine