Maya Lin: Flow
May 18, 2019 – September 1, 2019
GRAM is pleased to announce a summer of 2019 exhibition featuring the work of renowned artist, architect, and designer Maya Lin (b. 1959). Organized by GRAM in collaboration with Lin’s studio, the exhibition focuses on largescale, gallery-based sculpture that demonstrates Lin’s fascination with the environment and water as subject matter. Created in recycled silver, steel pins, and common building materials, Lin’s work is conceived through the meticulous use of charting, mapping, and scientific research in determining each sculpture’s ultimate design, layout, and structure.
Two new works on view will spotlight local and regional bodies of water. Pin River – Grand River Watershed (2019) is a fifteen foot long wall installation made of thousands of steel pins that form an outline of Michigan’s Grand River Watershed. The Watershed includes the Grand River, which at 260 miles is Michigan’s longest river and has been critical to the history and economy of Grand Rapids. Untitled, Silver Lakes (2019) is a cast wall relief made of recycled silver which depicts the Great Lakes and other lakes formed by the retreat and melting of glaciers. Lin uses silver, a precious materials with reflective, water-like quality, to present these bodies of water as precious and jewel-like.
The timeliness of this exhibition is twofold. The focus on water and the environment is relevant now more than ever, and Lin’s works will engage the community with familiar bodies of water – the Grand River and the Great Lakes – that are points of civic pride and cultural identity, as well as works of art inspired by bodies of water and mountain ranges from other parts of the country. Lin’s compelling artworks will help raise environmental awareness and challenge visitors to ponder humanity’s relationship with the natural world. The exhibition also celebrates the approaching 20th anniversary of Maya Lin’s Ecliptic, which transformed downtown Grand Rapids’ Rosa Parks Circle into a central gathering space that has evolved into the heart of the city. Inspired by the Grand River, Ecliptic reflects Lin’s interpretation of the three forms of water —liquid, solid, and vapor—through the park’s ice rink and amphitheater, mist fountain, and tablet of flowing water.
“I’ve always been fixated on water,” says Lin. “Maybe it’s because it exists in multiple states, and you can never understand it in nature as a fixed moment in time.”