Laurie Simmons: In and Around the House
February 6 – April 24, 2016
This exhibition celebrates the Addison’s recent acquisition of a complete set of Laurie Simmons’s seminal series, In and Around the House, 1976-78. Depicting female dolls in dollhouse interiors performing the stereotypical chores of a 1950s housewife, these images are paradoxically sentimental and critical. In describing this work Simmons has said, "I was simply trying to recreate a feeling, a mood . . . a sense of the fifties that I knew was both beautiful and lethal at the same time."
Created by the artist at the threshold of her career, these poignant and melancholy black and white photographs reflect concerns and themes—artifice and fiction, gender and identity, and memory and nostalgia—that continue to inform her work today. A formative piece within the artist’s oeuvre, it is with this pioneering series of photographs that Simmons became one of the first of a generation of artists to push the boundaries of photography into the realm of conceptual art.
Laurie Simmons served as the Edward E. Elson Artist-in-Residence for Winter 2016.