Click the photo above to view a slideshow of works from both galleries>>
Seventy-two blocks uptown and six avenues east is Lin’s complementary show, Recycled Landscapes, at Salon 94. While not unimpressive, it pales next to its Chelsea counterpart, but maybe that’s the point. Here the utterly polished gallery space has been transformed into an obsessive-compulsive’s playroom; refinement infused with touches of juvenility.
Cruder models of mountainous terrain sit on stacks of cardboard boxes, topographical maps of terraced ravines are cut out of atlases and old phone books, and colorful orbs of varying size rest, almost cautiously, on the gallery floor. Unlike Three Ways, with its naturalistic objects fabricated out of natural materials, Recycled Landscapes disrupts that relationship with fabricated materials, yet thankfully stops shy of politicizing the world’s ongoing struggle with recycling. At Pace Wildenstein we felt invited to lay hands on Blue Lake Pass and 2 x 4 Landscape, to examine their tactile qualities. But with Lin’s floor globes at Salon 94 – made from plastic bottle caps, mini rubber sports balls and miscellaneous children’s playthings – she has created something profound and altogether dissocial: whole objects we cannot touch, made from smaller objects conceived to be handled without care. Recycling can be a real bitch sometimes.
The Pace Wildenstein show could easily stand alone and yield the same effects, which is more than we can say for Recycled Landscapes. But together they conjure a divine little conflict that’s fitting of Lin’s not-so-little career. In Chelsea, each of the three ways has a singleness of shape because the parts come together effortlessly, and seem to expand with the experience as a whole. In the Upper East Side, those parts have either been forced together or scaled down to save space, leaving one with an empty feeling, like a soon-to-be-filled landfill. So in the end, perhaps another visit to the National Mall is needed to get that happy medium.
Three Ways of Looking at the Earth is on view through the 24th of October; Recycled Landscapes is up through November 13.