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“Landscape Body Dwelling”

“Landscape Body Dwelling”

In 2009, artist Charles Simonds was invited to install sculptural work in the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens as part of the Contemporary Art Installation program, conceived by then-Director of Garden and Landscape Studies John Beardsley. Simonds’s piece, Landscape Body Dwelling, was the inaugural work of the contemporary art installation series. Simonds is well known for his clay sculptures that explore fantastical themes of “Little People,” who the artist has been imagining since the 1970s. Alongside other sculptures placed throughout the gardens, his piece Mental Earth (2003) was suspended from the roof beams of the Orangery. Although originally created for Simonds’s retrospective at the Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, the work, made from steel rods covered with foam and finished with clay, filled the space of the Orangery as though it had been made for it. The sculpture’s organic forms—sprouting, dangling, almost growing—served to mirror the physical forms of the 150-year old Ficus pumila that covers the walls and ceilings of the Orangery.

 

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“Landscape Body Dwelling”
“Landscape Body Dwelling”