Curated by Anne Collins Goodyear, assistant curator of prints+drawings at the National Portrait Gallery
December 15 – January 14, 2007
Opening Reception: Friday, December 15, 7-9pm
With a soaring blue mass anchored above a small pink enclosure, “Separate Worlds” reads almost like a question mark. The comparison is apt where Amy Lin’s work is concerned. Enveloped in the artist’s meticulously rendered drawings is an implicit question: what are they? It is precisely in their resistance to easy categorization that the works reach out to spectators.
Lin’s work, with an exquisite calligraphic quality of interweaving cables, is composed of tiny spheres, rendered painstakingly, at varying scales, by the artist. Yet the work does not read as pure abstraction, concerned only with formal properties of color and composition. Instead, a careful examination of these lively surfaces reveals fascinating intersections between the minute units themselves—microbes of a sort— some of which seem to cohere with magnetic pull while others seem to resist one another. Through her use of pattern and repetition Lin has put into play dynamics that seem almost human in nature.
If the artist’s intensity, or “obsession,” reveals itself graphically, the work also brings about a deep sense of contemplative satisfaction. For through an act of meditative creation, Lin has constructed pictorial environments that produce a sense of immense space. Here the viewer can become lost in the delicate task of untangling skeins of threaded dots that tease the mind. – Anne Colins Goodyear