Laurie Simmons in New York, NY

I have every neighborhood in NYC figured out in terms of what route I should take when I’m looking for art. I do lots of research, make a plan and head out with my handwritten list in hand.

I went to see the Eli Ping and Covey Gong show in what I think of as Chinatown. Neighborhoods have been renamed since back when I lived here full time and depending on who you ask this might now be called Two Bridges. There has been an influx of good galleries in this neighborhood. After the Ping and Gong show at Lubov, I went to 56 HENRY to see Laurie Simmons: Color Pictures/Deep Photos 2007-2022. If you are a regular WSA reader, you know resin is my favorite medium. I have always thought of Simmons as brilliant, and I absolutely adored this show.

Walt Disney and the Lipstick Forest, 2007-2022
Ink jet, plastic, paper, resin, wood
13” x 10 3/4” x 3 in.

“Simmons reconfigures a photographic series she made a decade and a half ago. At the time, she downloaded and cut out images of women from amateur-porn websites, posed them in eerily lit sets alongside dollhouse furniture—tiny sinks, a toy lamp, a miniature piano—occasionally doodled or built-out decorations on their naked forms (painted polka-dot underwear, clay bras), and photographed the resulting tableaus. Meant to be printed out in a large-scale format, the series was, in the end, never officially shown, its source material perhaps considered out of step with Simmons’s more familiar midcentury imagery. Fifteen years later, the artist has returned to reconsider and play with these images once again, and we are now more than ready.” (56 HENRY)

Andy/Two White Dressers/Girl in Blue Tub, 2007-2022
Ink jet, plastic, resin, wood
10 3/4” x 13” x 3 in.
Detail
Walt/Two Women, 2007-2022
Ink jet, paper, plastic, resin, wood
10 3/4” x 13” x 2 in.
William Baziotes, 2007-2022
Ink jet, plastic, paper, resin, acrylic paint, wood
10 3/4” x 13” x 2 in.

“Printing the photographs in a much smaller format, Simmons set them in deep frames, into which she gradually poured clear resin. Within this material—sticky, gummy, sultry—Simmons buried new treasures, paralleling and refracting the elements she had collaged together in the earlier photographs.” (56 HENRY)

Detail
White toilet/Girl in Jeans/Pink Seat, 2007-2022
Ink jet, plastic, resin, wood
10 3/4” x 13” x 3 in.

“ There is humor in Simmons’s images—their miniaturized elements throwing into relief the constructed, larger-than-life nature of the work of feminine seduction—but there is also tenderness, and real power. Surpassing the ephemeral world of the internet, these women offer a vision that is vivid, deeply alive, ecstatically full, thanks to Simmons’s act of layered revisiting. Her dolls are real women, generously suspended before us, as if in an act of magic.” (56 HENRY)

Drawn on Bikini/Three Black Chairs, 2007-2022
Flex print, resin, wood, leather
10 3/4” x 13” x 3 in.
Detail
Four Women/Two Lamps, 2007-2022
Ink jet, plastic, resin, wood
9 3/4” x 11 3/4 “ x 1 1/2 in.
Detail

The exhibition runs through January 15, 2022. Go see it!

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