Maya Lin has been announced by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery as the next subject of its ongoing 'One Life' series, offering followers of the famed architect and sculptor the chance to examine her life and work through the lens of a major biographical exhibition for the first time.
The show aims to “highlight the development of the artist’s approaches and processes through a variety of three-dimensional models, sculptures, sketchbooks, and photographs.”
Lin’s upbringing in rural Ohio will serve as one bookend on a timeline that culminates in her recent renovation of the Neilson Library at Smith College and the 2021 Ghost Forest installation at Madison Square Park in Manhattan.
The ecologically-minded designer is in the midst of a banner year after being named recently to a major public commission at the forthcoming Obama Presidential Library in Chicago. She was also the subject of a focused exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art and was recently profiled in 60 Minutes over her plans for the new Museum of Chinese in America, which were revealed earlier in April.
“The exhibition will reveal the roots of her interests,” curator Dorothy Moss said. “As a very young child growing up in rural Ohio, Lin developed what she describes as ‘a strong love and respect for the land,’ and this focus on the natural world has translated into a profound body of work that is grounded in empathy.”
“She has written of her practice, ‘Whether socially or aesthetically based, in these works I seek to create a dialogue with the viewer, to allow a place of contemplation, sometimes an incorporation of history, always a reliance on time, memory, or a passage or journey.”
The Smithsonian shares that the exhibition also includes a special installation taken from Lin's ongoing 'What is Missing' environmental memorial that dates to 2012.
'One Life: Maya Lin' will be on view to the public from September 30th through April 23rd at the museum's 8th Street location in Washington, D.C. More information about attending the exhibition can be found here.
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