September 6, 2007 - Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis - Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes
September 6, 2007

Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes

September 7 – December 30, 2007

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
3750 Washington Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108
t: 314-535-4660

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis presents Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes, an exhibition that explores how we see, and come to understand, landscape in a crucial time. Maya Lin examines how our current relationship to landscape is extended, condensed, distorted, and mapped via new technologies, and then translates these systematized spaces of the natural world into objects and environments that can be engaged physically. This large solo-exhibition presents Lin’s newest work, in which she investigates the notion of landscape as both form and content.
Systematic Landscapes features three large-scale installations, each of which puts the museum visitor into a distinctive relationship to a natural form: 2 x 4 Landscape, a hill or wave form built of 65,000 boards set on end that can be walked on; Water Line, a wire-frame topographic surface based on an undersea formation that can either be walked under or viewed from above; and Blue Lake Pass, a topographic translation of an actual mountain range, made of layers of stacked particle board, which have been segmented and then pulled apart to create a landscape strata that one can walk through.

Over the course of 25 years, Lin has created a remarkable body of work that includes large-scale site-specific installations and intimate studio works. Lin is justly celebrated for producing public monuments, earthworks, sculpture, architecture, and landscape design. The breadth and diversity of her work resists categorization, as her creative output ranges freely across the boundaries of art, architecture, and design.

Lin first came to prominence when she redefined the memorial, with her Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, and the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama. Since then, she has created works at all scales that re-order our categories of understanding: blurring the boundaries between two- and three-dimensional spaces and re-imagining the grids of history, language and mathematics by which humans encounter the natural world.

Lin’s artwork has been shown in solo museum exhibitions in the United States, Italy, Denmark, and Sweden, and at the Gagosian Gallery, which represents her. Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes picks up the thread of her previous museum exhibition, Topologies, continuing its exploration of people’s relationship to the land; but it is also a departure, as the first exhibition that has carefully translated the scale and coherence of her outdoor installations to the interior space of a museum.

Lin’s best-known works are her large, site-specific art installations. They include Groundswell, for the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; Wave Field for the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; 10 degrees North for The Rockefeller Foundation, New York; and Eclipsed Time for MTA Arts in Transit, Pennsylvania Station, New York.

The Contemporary is also pleased to commission and debut in St. Louis a new sculptural work by Lin based upon the local confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Depicting a linear view of the shape of the rivers, Pin River is comprised of tens of thousands of straight pins pushed into the wall to create a sinuous flow of silver that is a shadow image of the place where the two rivers converge in St. Louis.
The Contemporary presents Silver River, a new limited artist edition by Maya Lin. Created on the occasion of her exhibition in St. Louis, Silver River, a silver-cast sculpture presented in a hot-stamped, clamshell portfolio box, traces the path of the Mississippi River. The edition is limited to 30, with all proceeds benefiting the exhibitions program at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.
Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes is organized by the Henry Art Gallery and curated by Director Richard Andrews. Major support for this exhibition was provided by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Peter Norton Family Foundation.

The St. Louis presentation of Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes is made possible through the generous support of the Gertrude and William A. Bernoudy Foundation, Washington University in St. Louis, Nimoy Foundation, Bunny and Charles Burson, Joan and Mitchell Markow, and HOK.

General support for the Contemporary’s exhibition program is generously provided by the Whitaker Foundation, William E. Weiss Foundation, Regional Arts Commission, Arts and Education Council, Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, and members of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
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