Maya Lin to Create Public Artwork for Obama’s Presidential Center – ARTnews.com

Maya Lin, whose elegant blend of art, architecture and landscape has won worldwide acclaim, was asked to create an installation for the campus of the Obama Presidential Center. The artwork will be placed in the Water Garden, named after former President Barack Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham.

Title see through the universe, the sculpture “will feature a vertical ‘oculus’ piece that mists and a flat ‘pebble’ piece that fills with water and then cascades down,” according to the Center’s website. An Obama Foundation project, the Center began in September 2021 and is expected to open to the public in 2025.

“When we thought about what might be an appropriate way to commemorate my mother’s influence on my sister and I, I thought about where she would want to be in this space,” Barack Obama said in a communicated. “I could imagine her sitting on one of the benches on a beautiful summer afternoon, smiling and watching a group of children run through the fountain, and I thought that would capture who she was as well as anything else.”

Lin is one of the most sought-after architects in the United States, with commissions including the Neilson Library at Smith College, the Museum of Chinese in America in Manhattan, and the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1981 Lin, then a 21-year-old unknown architecture student, won the design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which remains one of the most visited public works of art in Washington, DC.

Lin is best known for her urban memorials, but her practice also spans large organic installations, like the one in 2021 Ghost Forest — 49 Atlantic White Cedars, from an endangered grove in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens, planted in Madison Square Park. They were a shock amid the veritable green of the lawn, a harbinger of the impending climatic apocalypse. After the facility closed, the trees were harvested by a Bronx lumber shop, where teenagers shaped them into boats.

About 20 years ago, Lin was commissioned to create six public “earthworks” along the Columbia River system by the Confluence Project, a Pacific Northwest nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about the historical importance of the region’s waterways to local Aboriginal communities. In 2008, in collaboration with the architect Johnpaul Jones, she created the Vancouver Land Bridge, a green pedestrian bridge that overlooks Highway 14.

“My goal at times was to disappear, not to add a work of art, but my art was to erase previous damage and re-establish a connection with the environment, allowing the visitor a visceral and intimate connection with the land she -even,” Lin wrote. of the project.

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