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Art history is often neatly told through the touchstones of individual artists and stylistic movements. West by Midwest, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, tells a messier story of contemporary art—one that illuminates the ways that contemporary art practices spread and develop by tracing the intersecting lives of artists who have migrated from the American Midwest to the West Coast since the mid-20th century. Divided into six sections, West by Midwest presents more than 80 artworks in a wide variety of media, made by some 63 artists from the 1960s through the 2010s. Anchored by works in the MCA’s collection, West by Midwest eschews a definitive survey of individuals’ achievements to instead consider how artists move and make work within a larger field of relations.