MAD: Dwelling by Charles Simonds
Museum of Arts and Designhttps://madmuseum.org/
2 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019
Charles Simonds first created his Dwellings in the early 1970s as tiny, impermanent constructions in the crevices and vacant lots of New York neighborhoods, and later developed them into semipermanent works situated in museums. Constructed from miniature bricks cut from flat sheets of clay and assembled with tweezers, the Dwellings resemble the archaeological remains of indigenous communities of the American Southwest, such as the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde, and are imagined as architectural environments for fictional civilizations of “Little People” who roam the streets of neighborhoods in cities throughout the world. Each Dwelling encapsulates a different time and place in the history of the people, who are always absent from the structures, and marks their migration over time. Some are ruins; some are ruins in the process of rehabitation; and some are more recent settlements. The Dwellings are made with unfired clay and therefore impermanent, left to the vagaries of life around them. —Museum of Arts and Design
Cover photo: Charles Simonds, Dwelling (located in MAD’s lobby), 2011, Clay, wood, polyurethane, sand; Museum of Arts and Design; this two-part commission is made possible at MAD by the Collections Committee, the Howard Kottler Endowment for Ceramic Art, Mimi Livingston, and Stephen and Pamela Hootkin, and at 1790 Broadway by 1790 Broadway Associates LLC., 2011; Photo by Ed Watkins; courtesy the Museum of Arts and Design.