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Recommendations by R.C. Baker

Laurie Simmons

Cubist netherworlds: Byron Browne's 
Calligraphic Dance, 1950
Courtesy of the David Findlay Jr. Gallery
Cubist netherworlds: Byron Browne's Calligraphic Dance, 1950

Just down the block, you can wander smack into the dreamy spaces that Laurie Simmons has conjured by placing Japanese-designed "Teenette" dolls (tall American girls wearing tight skirts and cable-knit sweaters) in front of pro-jected ideal-home interiors. Taking her cue from a 1940s interior-design book that warns "Misused, color will mock all your efforts," Simmons matched the hues of the solidly colored plastic dolls, manufac-tured in Japan during the early '60s, with ac-cents from the photographs; hence, the dusky-green girl standing in that '70s-ish kitchen with the avocado-tinted fixtures. All of the images date from 1983, but they feel like Technicolor studio films, the rear-projected sets utterly phony even as the carefully placed dolls and integrated lighting coalesce into definite, if unknowable, narratives. Skarstedt, 20 E 79th, 212-737-2060. Through October 27.

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