Gallery Met to Open Laurie Simmons's TWO BOYS, 9/24
On Tuesday, September 24, the Arnold & Marie Schwartz Gallery Met will open Laurie Simmons'sTwo Boys, a new exhibition presented in conjunction with the North American premiere of Nico Muhly's opera of the same name. Simmons has created 4 original photographs for the show, which will be on display in Gallery Met through January 15, 2014. The opera Two Boys, which explores identity and desire in the shadowy world of the Internet, opens at the Met on October 21 in a production directed by Bartlett Sher and conducted by David Robertson.
Simmons is an internationally recognized artist whose work has often involved images of dolls, mannequins, and dummies in otherwise realistic settings. Her film and photographic works have been exhibited around the world. Her most recent series of photographs THE LOVE DOLL / DAYS 1-31 was shown at Salon 94 in New York as well as at galleries and museums in Paris, London, Gothenburg, Sweden, and Tokyo. Her work also appears in the current Venice Biennale which runs through November 24, 2013. Her first film, The Music of Regret (2006), is a musical in 3 acts (starring Meryl Streep), which imagines dialogue and song between inanimate objects from Simmons's past work. Art in America has written of the artist that "in Simmons's toy world we immediately comprehend how stifling such real-world environments are, and how limiting is the petty-bourgeois aesthetic they reflect."
"I was drawn to the story of Two Boys, which involves the vastness, seduction and perils of the online world-something I think about often," Simmons said. " I had a specific feeling and a look in mind for the images. I wanted them to describe visually both the isolation and the focus a young boy might feel when completely immersed in the mental space of the web."
Dodie Kazanjian, curator of Gallery Met since its opening in 2006, saw a potential parallel between Simmons's work and the artificial world of the Internet as seen in Two Boys, and saw the show as an opportunity for Simmons to work with a new sort of subject.
"I knew Laurie was a Nico Muhly fan, and she's often used female dolls in her work, but I knew she was looking to use male subjects," Kazanjian said. "Two Boys seemed ready-made for her, a way to expand her vision."
Gallery Met, located in the south lobby of the opera house, is open to the public Mondays through Fridays from 6 p.m. to the end of the last intermission and Saturdays from noon to the end of the evening performance's last intermission. Admission is free and no appointments are required. Gallery Met is closed on Sundays.
Two Boys has its North American premiere at the Met on October 21 in a production conducted by David Robertson and directed byBartlett Sher. The cast includes Jennifer Zetlan as Rebecca, Caitlin Lynch as Cynthia, Alice Coote as Anne Strawson, Sandra Piques Eddy as Fiona, Judith Forst as Anne's Mum, Paul Appleby and Nicky Spence as Brian, Christopher Bolduc as Jake, and Keith Miller as Peter.
For more information on the Met's contemporary visual arts initiatives, which are organized by Dodie Kazanjian, please visitwww.metopera.org/gallerymet.
Photo Courtesy of Laurie Simmons and Salon 94