Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy - Untitled (Woman Standing on Head)

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Image of Untitled (Woman Standing on Head)

Laurie Simmons , b. Oct 3, 1949

Untitled (Woman Standing on Head)

5 1/4 x 8 in. (13.34 x 20.32 cm)

Medium and Support: Gelatin silver print
Credit Line: Museum purchase and partial gift of the artist
Accession Number: 2015.34


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.

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