Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Maya Lin: Avalanche

In Maya Lin’s 1998 sculptural installation “Avalanche,” the artist creates both pattern and texture by playing with the viewer’s perception and the materials. She utilizes abstract forms to make a connection between the man-made materials and patterns seen in nature. What makes this work particularly interesting is the ability of the viewer to approach it from afar. In this particular image, the blue shape in the corner appears to be one smooth, shiny piece. Yet this shape is in fact a pile of blue-green sea glass, which acquires an entirely new texture as one comes in closer proximity to it. The pile of glass shards is so colorful, glittery and alluring that one might want to touch it. The smooth, gentle texture of the waves in the center of the room contrasts starkly to that of the pile of sea glass. I find it very exciting how drastically the work changes depending on the viewer’s perspective and how the artist plays with pattern and texture to make the work visually interesting .

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