March 12, 2015 - The Jewish Museum - Laurie Simmons
March 12, 2015

Laurie Simmons

Laurie Simmons, How We See / Ajak (Violet), 2015. Pigment print, 70 × 48 inches. Courtesy the artist and Salon 94. © Laurie Simmons.

Laurie Simmons
How We See

March 13–August 9, 2015

The Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street
New York, NY 10128
Hours: Friday–Tuesday 11am–5:45pm,
Wednesday closed (shops open 11am–3pm),
Thursday 11am–8pm

T +1 212 423 3200
F +1 212 423.3232

In How We See, Laurie Simmons draws on the “Doll Girls” subculture of people who alter themselves with makeup, dress, and even cosmetic surgery to look like Barbie, baby dolls, and anime characters. Evoking the tradition of the high-school portrait—when teenagers present their idealized selves to the camera—Simmons photographed fashion models seated in front of a curtain, cropped from the shoulders down.

Despite the banal pose, each portrait is activated by kaleidoscopic lighting and small, surprising details that produce a nearly psychedelic effect. The girls have preternaturally large, sparkling eyes that are painted on each model’s closed lids, a well-known Doll Girls technique, and stare out at the visitor with an uncanny, alien gaze. How We See draws an arc between portraits traded among classmates to the persona play that Doll Girls rapidly execute on smartphones, where the continuous feeds of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter allow alternate versions of the self to appear, morph, and disappear.

Public programs

Dialogue and Discourse: Laurie Simmons and Lynne Tillman
The Mildred and George Weissman Program
Monday, April 13, 6:30pm
Artist Laurie Simmons discusses her work with writer and critic Lynne Tillman.
The Mildred and George Weissman Program has been endowed by Paul, Ellen, and Dan Weissman in honor of their parents.
Free with RSVP

Converging Lenses: Issues in Contemporary Photography 
Thursday, April 23, 6:30pm
Over the last ten years, approaches to using photography have changed drastically in reaction to new digital imaging technologies and the proliferation of images on the Internet. This panel discussion will focus on interventions in the medium by younger artists such as Lucas Blalock and Talia Chetrit, and how this trend has placed renewed focus on the work of artists, like Barbara Kasten, who laid the foundations for photography’s current moment. Moderated by Chris Wiley, Adjunct Professor at New York University and contributing editor at frieze.
Free with pay-what-you-wish admission; RSVP recommended 

Laurie Simmons: How We See is organized by Assistant Curator Kelly Taxter. 

Laurie Simmons: How We See is made possible by the Melva Bucksbaum Fund for Contemporary Art. Additional generous support is provided by Toby Devan Lewis, The Alice M. and Thomas J. Tisch Foundation, Ann and Mel Schaffer, and Vera Schapps. 

Public programs at the Jewish Museum are made possible by endowment support from the William Petschek Family, the Trustees of the Salo W. and Jeannette M. Baron Foundation, Barbara and Benjamin Zucker, William W. Hallo, the late Susanne Hallo Kalem, the late Ruth Hallo Landman, the Marshall M. Weinberg Fund, with additional support from Marshall M. Weinberg, the Rita J. and Stanley H. Kaplan Foundation, the Saul and Harriet M. Rothkopf Family Foundation and Ellen Liman. 

Additional support is provided by Lorraine and Martin Beitler and through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

The Jewish Museum
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