Maya Lin

 

 

Artist, designer and environmentalist, Maya Lin interprets the natural world through science, history, politics, and culture, creating a remarkable and highly acclaimed body of work in art and architecture. Her works merge the physical and psychological environment, presenting a new way of seeing the world around us. 

Lin’s Memorials address the critical social and historical issues of our time. From the Vietnam Memorial which she designed as an undergraduate student at Yale, to The Civil Rights Memorial in Alabama, and the Women’s Table at Yale make our history part of the landscape. To her latest, What is Missing? which is focused on the environment.

Lin’s art explores how we experience and relate to Nature, setting up a systematic ordering of the land that is tied to history, memory, time, and language. Her interest in landscape has led to works influenced by topographies and natural phenomena.

Her work asks the viewer to reconsider nature and the environment at a time when it is crucial to do so. A committed environmentalist, she is working on her last memorial, “What is Missing?”; a cross-platform, global memorial to the planet, located in select scientific institutions, online as a website, and a book, calling attention to the crisis surrounding biodiversity and habitat loss. Please visit www.whatismissing.org for more information.

Her architectural projects include the main building and master plan for Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, MA, the Museum for Chinese in America (2009) in New York City and the Riggio-Lynch Interfaith Chapel (2004) and Langston Hughes Library (1999) in Clinton, Tennessee. Currently she is working on the redesign of the Neilson Library at Smith College. Her designs create a close dialogue between the landscape and built environment, and she is committed to advocating sustainable design solutions in all her works.

Lin has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at museums and galleries worldwide, with works in the permanent collections of the National gallery of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art; The Smithsonian Institution; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; The Nevada Museum of Art; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; and the California Academy of Sciences.

A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she has been profiled in, among others, TIME, The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker. The 1996 documentary about her, Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. Her book about her work and creative process, Boundaries, is in its fifth printing with Simon & Schuster. Maya Lin: Topologies, a monograph spanning the past 30 years of her career was first released in Fall 2015 by Skira Rizzoli and is in its second printing. In 2009 she was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence, and in 2016 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Barack Obama, the Nation’s highest Civilian Honor.

Photo credit: Walter Smith

View Maya's original design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial