Laurie Simmons


Laurie Simmons (born 1949) is an American artist best known for her photographic and film work. Art historians consider her a key figure of The Pictures Generation and a group of late-1970s women artists that emerged as a counterpoint to the male-dominated and formalist fields of painting and sculpture. The group introduced new approaches to photography, such as staged setups, narrative, and appropriations of pop culture and everyday objects that pushed the medium toward the center of contemporary art. Simmons's elaborately constructed images employ psychologically charged human proxies—dolls, ventriloquist dummies, mannequins, props, miniatures and interiors—and also depict people as dolls. Often noted for its humor and pathos, her art explores boundaries such as between artifice and truth or private and public, while raising questions about the construction of identity, tropes of prosperity, consumerism and domesticity, and practices of self-presentation and image-making. In a review of Simmons's 2019 retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, critic Steve Johnson wrote, "Collectively—and with a sly but barbed sense of humor—[her works] challenge you to think about what, if anything, is real: in our gender roles, and our cultural assumptions, and our perceptions of others."

Simmons's art belongs to the public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Hara Museum (Tokyo) and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, among others. She has exhibited at venues including MoMA, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Walker Art Center and Whitney Museum. In 1997, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives and works in New York City and Cornwall, Connecticut.

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American photographer.

Country of birth

United States


Artist, photographer

ULAN identifier



Laurie Simmons

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Information from the Getty Research Institute's Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License. Accessed July 19, 2024.