Baldwin Gallery is pleased to present our fifth show with the acclaimed artist Laurie Simmons. Since the 1970s, Simmons has staged and photographed tableaux using dolls, dollhouses, and other toy and woman-space coded objects, creating worlds that function as psychological destinations and blur the boundaries between the real, the unreal, and the surreal. Through these constructed realities, the viewer sees characters and narratives develop, and complex interrelationships are enacted: inviting reflection upon our actions and emotions, cultural performances, and the assigned social roles that underscore both our public and internal lives.
In the current body of work, Simmons furthers her long-term exploration of the borders between sentience and the inanimate, and meditations on moral agency. Using dummies as portraits of individuals, she employs the idiom of puppetry both actually and metaphorically. Simmons lends her subjects a dignity beyond their innate objectification: the allusion to complex inner life creating a sense of personhood and prompting the viewer to ponder the limits of human emotional range, our collective relationship with reality, and how the uses of social ventriloquy serve dominant cultural narratives.
Simmons received a BFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Her prolific career is distinguished by multiple awards, including the National Endowment for the Arts Grant in 1984 and the Roy Lichtenstein Residency in Visual Arts from the American Academy in Rome in 2005. In addition, Simmons’ work has been shown throughout the world in prestigious venues including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and the Tate Modern in London. Her work has also appeared in the Wiener Internationale Biennale (1981), Whitney Biennial (1985 and 1991), Bienal de São Paulo (1985), and Austrian Triennial on Photography in Graz (1996).
Baldwin Gallery is also delighted to announce our fourth show of work by artist Ryan McGinness. Mining contemporary iconography and classical vernacular for a world of endlessly replicating context, McGinness’ highly complex dialectical system of associations and visual hyperlinks references the constant flood of information experienced in modern society. McGinness constructs layered landscapes of these personal hieroglyphics and image syntax, engaging the linguistics of pop art, corporate logos, and graffiti practice arrayed in proliferation: cultural literacy to both read and interpret, an emoji that unleashes a paragraph’s torrent.
An Andrew Carnegie scholar at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ryan McGinness interned at the Andy Warhol Museum. Recently McGinness’s complex graphics have come into the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the MUSAC in Spain, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, and he was given the opportunity to create a full room installation at MoMA PS1.
The public is invited to meet the artist Laurie Simmons at the opening. Images are available upon request. Please call 970.920.9797 for further information.