The floor of the High Museum of Art’s Robinson Atrium was covered by a monumental, site-specific painting by acclaimed Shanghai-based artist Michael Lin. Lin is widely known for his hand-painted architectural interventions. He approaches painting as a bounded, physical space – one we can inhabit – rather than as an object of contemplation. Lin orchestrates monumental painting installations that re-conceptualize public spaces using patterns and designs appropriated from traditional textiles. He believes in the artist as a generator of ideas and, like conceptual artist Sol LeWitt, collaborates with artists and art students to address the power of collective action, the value of labor, and the importance of craft. The High’s installation was created by eight Atlanta-based artists working with Lin and his studio.
Lin designed Utah Sky 2065-40 (blue curve) for the High’s Stent Family Wing in response to architect Richard Meier’s soaring spaces and stunning skylight. The artist also took inspiration from Ellsworth Kelly’s shaped canvases, which are displayed on the Wieland Pavilion Skyway Level. Lin’s aesthetic is often influenced by the decorative arts of Asia. The floral design of the painting echoes a Taiwanese textile print, and the title, Utah Sky, refers to one of the Benjamin Moore paint colors used in the painting.
About Michael Lin
Raised in Taiwan, Lin (b. 1964 in Tokyo, Japan) lives between Brussels, Shanghai and Taipei. Lin creates site-specific installations that mediate the relationship between the viewer and the architecture. These works can be viewed from a variety of vantage points, including, in the case of floor paintings, from atop the work itself. The paintings therefore alter the way the viewer experiences the space as a whole.
Much of Lin’s work, including Utah Sky 2065-40 (blue curve), appropriates patterns from traditional Taiwanese textiles. The recognizable patterns give the installations a sense of familiarity and comfort for the viewer.
Lin has been included in many international museum shows and biennales, including The Spectacle of the Everyday (Biennale de Lyon, France, 2009), Super Fengshui (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2008), Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art (Moscow, 2007), 49th Biennial of Venice, Taiwan Pavilion (Venice, 2001), and Michael Lin (Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, 2005).
Utah Sky 2065-40 (blue curve) was created by eight Atlanta-based artists working in collaboration with Michael Lin and his studio.
Participating artists include:
This exhibition was organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and made possible through the generous support of Susan and Carl Cofer, Melissa and Philip Babb, Robert Brawner, Stan Cohen, Louis Corrigan, Jordan and Mandy Mayers, and the Friends of Contemporary Art. In-kind support has been provided by Bobbo Jetmundsen.
Photos by Mike Jensen