Charles Simonds

CaixaForum Barcelona

Curated by the director of the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Daniel Abadie, this marvelous retrospective included over twenty years of Charles Simonds’ work. His imaginary Little People civilization is significant for its architectural nostalgia, its “earthiness,” and its psychoarchaeological import—the feeling it creates of being the excavation site of an archaic city located in some desert of the mind. The psychological dimension of his work has become explicit in the gargoylelike heads and allegorical grotteschi (straight out of the grotto of the unconscious) that he began producing in the ’90s.

Simonds admits to being inspired by the New Mexican landscape, the Indian architecture he saw there, and above all the land itself—a malleable clay that he has molded, smeared, and even bathed in as part of a ceremony of rebirth derived from the Shalako dance of the Zunis which Simonds

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