top of page

Laurie Simmons

Laurie Simmons (b. 1949, Long Island, New York) is an internationally recognized artist. Since the mid-70s, Simmons has staged scenes for her camera to create images with intensely psychological subtexts and nonlinear narratives. By the early 1980s, Simmons was at the forefront of a new generation of artists, predominantly women, whose use of photography began a new dialogue in contemporary art.

Simmons stages photographs and films with paper dolls, finger puppets, ventriloquist dummies, and costumed dancers as “living objects,” animating a dollhouse world suffused with nostalgia and colored by an adult’s memories, longings, and regrets. Her work blends psychological, political, and conceptual approaches to art making—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.


Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; the Hara Museum in Tokyo; and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art in Amsterdam, among others. In 2018-2019 Simmons’s retrospective Big Camera/Little Camera was presented at The Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. In 2006 she produced and directed her first film, The Music of Regret, starring Meryl Streep, Adam Guettel and the Alvin Ailey 2 Dancers. The film premiered at The Museum of Modern Art. Her feature film MY ART premiered at the 73rd Venice Film Festival and Tribeca Film festival in 2017.


Simmons lives and works in New York and Connecticut.

bottom of page