Art School Redux: Maya Lin at Pace Wildenstein

Monolithic. Topographic. Singular. The show is very impressive.

This is definitely a blue chip show, at a blue chip gallery, from a blue chip artist.

The reason that I bring this up is because, initially this show immediately overwhelms the senses, in its scale, and its poetry. It is representative of what Maya Lin is known for best. Landscape architecture.

But the difficulty that I have with the work, is that it lacks depth and layer of concept.

For those of us who went to school to challenge ourselves on an intellectual and creative level, the works reminds us of that first assignment in architecture school. “Take a single object and create a larger, conceptual work”. So this references topographical maps. The earth, created by a larger force.

Architects and builders have been doing that for ages. Just look around Manhattan, and see monolithic edifices of glass, or brick, or steel clad. They don’t seem to reference anything natural. But then if you look at Manhattan from the sky, or sea, you see that topography again. Awe inspiring.

So, I think that the work is poetic, and is clearly appropriate given the artists earlier works. But I don’t see much development. (And the 3rd work, done with wire could use some more wires. It seems like an effort incomplete in its execution by comparison.)

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