los-angeles

“Designs for Living”

Margo Leavin Gallery

How refreshing to see this sharp arrangement of bright, crisp, confident recent photographs by Laurie Simmons, Sarah Charlesworth, and Louise Lawler—redolent of ’80s smarts and deployed here to consider the domestic and its complex nexus of psychic, social, and spatial concerns. “Designs for Living” gives weight to both “design” and “living,” looking at how the constructed (curated, designed) nature of familial environments is reflected in and through choice of furniture and upholstery, wallpaper and paint colors, arrangements of collectibles and artworks; and how it’s possible to trace, through the erotic life of objects, some aspects of those who make and live with them.

Simmons’s new series of photographs began after someone gave her The Instant Decorator by Frances Joslin Gold, a do-it-yourself home-design planner from 1976. Outline drawings on transparent acetate of the rooms and

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