Studio Sunday: Maya Lin

A photo of Maya Lin at work in her home studio


Today’s Studio artist is Maya Lin. Lin is an American sculptor and architect known for her work with historic memorials, monuments, and land art. The artist often takes inspiration from natural forms and geological features, creating works that intervene with the landscape to emphasize certain ideas, rather than standing apart from it.


Lin’s studio space is cleaner and more library-like than traditional painting and sculpture studios. This large desk space, along with the packed bookshelves pictured behind the artist, reminds me of the studios of Arakawa and Gins, or of General Idea. The whole space has a very warm, studious air to it, with plenty of paper and small architectural mock-ups. I think the cat that’s curled up on the table also lends the studio a very welcoming feel.


Due to the scale and material of much of Lin’s body of work, her studio work probably only extends from sketches and research into small, paper and sculpted mock-ups. The actual work of construction and installation likely takes place on-site, or in a much better equipped industrial space.


Lin is perhaps best known for her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. This was the artist’s first large-scale project, completed when Lin was just 21 years old and still studying at Yale University. Though she is known for this and other memorials, much of her practice is centered on the environment, and creating works that encourage environmental consciousness in urban areas.

[image source]

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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