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Maya Lin

Past exhibition

Maya Lin

About the Exhibition

The Arts Club of Chicago is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition Maya Lin on Monday, 1 February 2010. An accomplished artist and architect, Maya Lin is perhaps best known for her public commissions, most notably the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC (1982), which she designed while an undergraduate student at Yale University. Whether monumental or small-scale, Lin’s current works present a unique vantage point for seeing and experiencing our environment. A catalogue with an essay by art critic, curator, and educator, Terry Myers, will accompany the exhibition.

This exhibition is a continuation of the body of work Lin began in the 1998 Topologies and 2006–2009 Systematic Landscapes exhibitions. Lin’s interest in exploring notions of landscape and geologic phenomena are realized through large- and small-scale works that utilize the language of natural forms (wave, river, mountain, sea) and the systems for reading the landscape (model, grid, topographic rubbings/drawings) thereby ushering the experience of nature into the space of art and architecture. Implementing the ways in which scientists and computers see the world—from sonar views of ocean floors to aerial and satellite images of land—Lin creates works that translate these technological views into sculptural forms. Whether through art, architecture, or monument, Lin seeks to illuminate our relationship with the natural world, predicated on the belief that a connection to nature is essential to our humanity.

The exhibition consists of eleven works from 2006–2010. Blue Lake Pass (2006) is a grid installation of 20 large particleboard blocks recreating the topography of the Rocky Mountain pass; Flow (2009) is an 11 x 35 foot installation mimicking the undulation of wave swells with 2 x 4 wood pieces. Caspian Sea (Bodies of Water series, 2006) is a three-dimensional birch plywood model of a sonar reading of the Caspian Sea. Rivers have been cast in their two-dimensional map shape, as in Colorado River (2008), or drawn on the wall with straight pins. Dew Point 15 and Dew Point 18 (2007) are oversized water droplets of hand-blown glass. All pieces were made with sustainable and recycled elements, further demonstrating Lin’s deep respect for, and love of, nature.

About the Artist

Maya Lin (b. 1959, Athens, OH) graduated cum laude with a BA in 1981 and an MA in 1986 from Yale University, where she was later awarded an honorary doctorate. She has exhibited throughout the world, and has had solo exhibitions at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA; the de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; and the American Academy in Rome. Her architectural works range from institutional to private commissions including a chapel and library for the Children’s Defense Fund, Clinton, TN; the redesign of the Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY; Aveda’s headquarters, NY; and private residences throughout the country. She most recently designed the new Museum of Chinese in America in New York, which opened in the spring of 2009. Lin is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Presidential Design Award, the Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honor Award, and in 2005, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.