PaperCity Magazine

April 2019- Dallas

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38 A SNAPSHOT IN TIME BY BILLY FONG PHOTOGRAPHY KIM LEESON I have landed the lucky role of serving as plus-one for Andrea Karnes, senior curator at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. This time, I accompanied her to the VIP dinner for the opening of Laurie Simmons' "Big Camera/Little Camera" exhibition — a poignant moment in Karnes' career. When she stood to give opening remarks, it was hard not to shed a tear. She began working on the exhibition with Simmons more than three years ago. Let's just say it was a 36-month pregnancy, and they were bringing their child — this stunning show — to the world. "Laurie Simmons first picked up the camera in a serious way in 1976 to examine gender, a topic as potent today as when she first began her exploration," Karnes said. This moment resonated with many, as Simmons' transgender child, Cyrus Dunham, was seated by her side. Opening parties at The Modern are a great combination of Fort Worth's swellegant set with a sprinkling of New York and inter- national collectors, gallerists, and art-world dignitaries. Dinner was set for just 250 guests. Fort Worth art patrons included incoming Modern board president Rafa Garza, current board president Kim Darden, and esteemed former senior curator Michael Auping, as well as Johnica Reed and Anthony Johnson, Julie and Doug Renfro, Sonya and Amar Tanna, Kimbell and Mitchell Wynne, Dana and David Porter, and the Kimbell Museum of Art's Eric Lee and George Shackelford. A tiny troupe of Dallasites made the trip west, including Capera Ryan, Barrett White, John Runyon, Michael Corman, and Kevin Fink. Artist Marilyn Minter, came to town to raise a glass in honor of her friend, as did two prominent gallerist fans, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, founder of Salon 94 gallery, and Amanda Wilkinson of the Amanda Wilkinson Gallery. Jimmy Choo, one of the exhibition's sponsors, sent its president of the Americas, Tanya Golesic, to attend; and Harper's Bazaar, also a sponsor, flew in executive editor Amy Synnott, who spoke about the magazine's devotion to Simmons' work. Two of the chicest girls in the crowd were Naomi Beckwith, a curator from the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, which is the next venue to host the exhibition, and Alissa Friedman, also from Salon 94 gallery. Everyone was atwitter over the fact that Simmons had been punked just a few days prior on Jimmy Kimmel Live by her It-girl, entertainer daughter Lena Dunham. Dunham called her mom (who was in Fort Worth installing the exhibition) live on the show to discuss outfit options she was considering wearing as a guest on the late-night talk show. All of the ensembles were hilariously absurd, and Simmons' delicate responses to find "another direction" provided great comic value. Watch the YouTube clip — I promise you will enjoy it. Laurie Simmons' The Love Doll/Day 23, 2010 Kris Pierce, Alison Hearst John Runyon, Ron Cooper Tanya Golesic Andrea Karnes, Laurie Simmons Laurie Simmons' Big Camera/Little Camera, 1976 Nancy Ginsburg, Kimbell Wynne Jonathan Nedrelow Megan Schmidt Laurie Simmons' Tourism: Las Vegas, 1984 Alissa Friedman Amy Synnott

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