Charles Simonds

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA Chicago)

The 12-part sequence Circles and Towers Growing, 1978, previously shown only in Germany, dominated this exhibition, which also included the model Floating Cities, 1978, and the very recent three-part sequence House Plants, 1981, as well as photographs of public projects and films of private Mythologies. It was thus the most comprehensive representation of the artist’s work to date in the United States. In addition, the self-contained permanent pieces in the exhibition were seen as emblematic of some three hundred miniature dwellings that Simonds has built all over the world, and especially in the streets of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, since the early ’70s.

In both temporary and permanent pieces, as if in chapters of a narrative, Simonds investigates “evolution and psychological implications between body and earth, house and home, building and growing—from the behavior of termites to

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