YONKERS, NY — Maya Lin uses 22,000 glass marbles, 20,000 stainless steel pins, and 200 bamboo poles to map the Hudson River in her new exhibition, which opened Oct. 12 at the Hudson River Museum.
Titled “A River is a Drawing,” the exhibition consists of a dozen works that will remain on view until Jan. 20, as the museum hosts numerous events related to the exhibition.
Most of the works were made for the museum, including installations that fill entire rooms. Inside, the marbles wrap around one gallery while projections scroll around another. Outside, the bamboo poles protrude from a lawn while silver paint illuminates the cracks in a concrete patio.
Lin uses silver for several works to reflect the fact that “The first European settlers to the New World, astounded by the abundance of the silvery fish swimming in immense multitudes, referred to the river as ‘running silver.’” Inside the main gallery, a massive aluminum sculpture that resembles the topography of an underwater canyon hangs from the ceiling.
Like the museum, Lin intertwines art, history, and science, including an emphasis on climate change. In addition to galleries, the museum includes a 19th-century mansion and a planetarium. To coincide with the opening of the exhibition, the museum rebranded itself with a new logo and a new website.
Lin’s connection to Yonkers extends back to 2004, when she designed a new building for the nonprofit Greyston Bakery. In 2013, she and her husband, Daniel Wolf, purchased the former Yonkers City Jail, which he uses to house his art collection.
Lin is well-known for her large-scale works. In 1981, at age 21, her design was selected for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. She was then an undergraduate student at Yale University, from which she later earned a master of architecture. In 2008, her undulating earthwork “Storm King Wavefield” was installed on 11 acres at the Storm King Art Center.
Tim Lamorte is an award-winning journalist who has spent almost two decades documenting life along the Hudson River.