Laurie Simmons: The Instant Decorator series

Laurie Simmons: The Instant Decorator series

Heather Blaha
Sep 18, 2008

The Instant Decorator (Yellow Living Room), 2001
We love the work of photographer Laurie Simmons - especially the 2001-2004 Instant Decorator series. In the words from a 2004 exhibition at Sperone Westwater:
Simmons's "Instant Decorator" series, which continues her ongoing exploration of figure and interior, was inspired by Frances Joslin Gold's 1976 book of the same title. This do-it-yourself home-design planner, featuring line drawings of conventional rooms on transparent acetate paper, allowed home decorators to sample fabric and wallpaper combinations of their own invention.

But while the concept suffered one fundamental flaw – the discrepancy between the scale of the actual textiles and that of the rooms – Simmons used the creative potential of this shortcoming to her advantage. Like the sense of dislocation that characterized her early photographs of dollhouse interiors (a project, coincidently, that also began in 1976, and was recently documented in the book In and Around the House), the aesthetic inconsistencies of the new work assure a collection of domestic spaces that are simultaneously seductive and disturbing, evocative and unknown.

The Instant Decorator (Beige Living Room), 2002

The Instant Decorator (Wood Paneled Den), 2001

The Instant Decorator (Sun Room), 2001

The Instant Decorator (Yellow Kitchen), 2003

The Instant Decorator (Lavender Bathroom), 2004

The Instant Decorator (Coral Room with Fireplace), 2002

Laurie Simmons: Instant Decorator series

All images from the website of Laurie Simmons.

Read a New York Times essay accompanying the 2004 exhibition here (essay by Linda Yablonsky).

(Re-published from 02-25-2008)

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