Thrust upon the art scene and the world at 21, Maya Lin is probably best known as the young upstart who, in 1981, amazingly snagged the commission to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. She was still an undergrad at Yale. As... [more]
Thrust upon the art scene and the world at 21, Maya Lin is probably best known as the young upstart who, in 1981, amazingly snagged the commission to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. She was still an undergrad at Yale. As most everyone knows, her memorable achievement with the Washington D.C. landmark continues to resonate, but she didn't stop there. Nearly 20 years later, her sensuous, minimalist aesthetic, and recurring theme of connection to landscape, continue to be realized in various public commissions and, more recently, sculptural gallery installations.
In her 1993-94 "Wave Field," a landscape designed for a building at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Lin literally froze the forms and undulating movement of waves into stilled masses of lawn-covered mounds, creating what appears to be a grass-covered ocean. More recently, she created several sculptural pieces for "Topologies," a 1998 New York gallery installation, rendering natural forms like mountains, waves, and pebbles from unexpected, visually seductive materials.
Another major piece, "Avalanche," is a 20-foot-high pyramidal mountain of crushed glass overlooking her "Untitled (Topographic Landscape)," a softly undulating patch of mounds created from evenly spaced, vertical slices of trimmed particle board. Nearby, "Glass Rocks" groups large, luminous, corpuscle-like clear glass spheres on a pale birch plywood floor, obviously inspired by her collection of stream-worn pebbles. Lin's graceful transformations, her idealizations of natural form, and her keen sense of beauty clearly reveal her deep engagement with the way we see and graph the landscapes around us. [show less]