New Museum Announces Maya Lin as the 2012 Visionary Speaker

The New Museum announce that Maya Lin will be featured as this year’s Visionary speaker. The Visionaries Series at the New Museum, supported by the Stuart Regen Visionaries Fund, honors leading international thinkers in the fields of art, architecture, design, and related disciplines of contemporary culture. In its fourth season, the annual series spotlights innovators who are shaping intellectual life and defining the future of culture today. Prior Visionaries include legendary choreographer Bill T. Jones, who inaugurated this signature program (2009), Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia (2010), and Alice Waters, chef, author, activist, and proprietor of Chez Panisse Restaurant (2011).

Maya Lin will speak about her concern for the environment through the lens of her artwork and will also discuss her most recent project What is Missing?, a multi-sited project that raises awareness about the current crisis surrounding biodiversity and habitat loss, on May 30, 2012, at 7 p.m. in the New Museum Theater. $25 General Public; $20 New Museum Members. Visit for tickets.

Maya Lin is in a category all her own. Since virtually redefining the idea of a monument with her highly acclaimed Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in 1982, Lin has gone on to create a remarkable body of work that encompasses large-scale, site-specific installations, intimate studio artworks, and architectural works, continuously blurring the boundaries between art, architecture, and design. Her work has been shown in solo and group shows throughout the United States and abroad, most recently at the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Dayton Art Institute.

A committed environmentalist, Lin is working on her last memorial, What is Missing?. This work in progress, which began in 2009, focuses attention on species and places that are now extinct or will most likely disappear within our lifetime. On Earth Day 2012, Lin launched “Conservation in Action (the Map of the Present),” which highlights what global organizations are doing to help the planet and how individuals can participate and take action. Visit for information on the full project. Lin’s work asks the viewer to reconsider nature and the environment at a time when it is crucial to do so.

In all of her work, Lin has drawn inspiration from the landscape, interpreting the world through a twenty- first-century lens, utilizing technological methods to study and visualize the natural world, merging rational order with notions of beauty and the transcendental, and translating them into sculptures, drawings, and environmental earthworks. From her earliest work to her more recent, such as Storm King Wavefield (2009) (an eleven-acre environmental reclamation project comprised of seven rows of undulating, rolling waves
of earth and grass) and Where the Land Meets the Sea (2008) (a large, outdoor sculpture based upon the topology of the San Francisco Bay), she has made art that merges seamlessly with the terrain, blurring the boundaries between two- and three-dimensional space and setting up a systematic ordering of the land that is tied to history, time, science, and language. She is currently working on a large earthwork in New Zealand, as well as the “Confluence Project,” a multi-sited installation that spans the Columbia River system in the Pacific Northwest, intertwining the history of Lewis and Clark with the history of the Native American tribes that inhabit those regions.

Maya Lin (born 1959, Ohio) received a BA in 1981 and an MA in 1986, both from Yale University, and has maintained a professional studio in New York City since then. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Presidential Design Award, an AIA Honor Award for Architecture, and the Finn Juhl Prize. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2005 was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Lin’s work has been the subject of major exhibitions including “Maya Lin: Topologies,” Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1998, and “Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes,” Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, in 2006—both of which traveled to multiple venues in the US. Her work is currently being shown at the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Heinz Architectural Center, Pittsburgh, through May 13, 2012. Lin currently lives and works in New York City with her husband and their two children.

New Museum
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