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High Museum commissions atrium floor painting you can walk on

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Shanghai artist Michael Lin will create a monumental, site-specific painting on the floor of the High Museum of Art's Robinson Atrium.
Shanghai artist Michael Lin will create a monumental, site-specific painting  on the floor of the High Museum of Art's Robinson Atrium.

Shanghai artist Michael Lin will create a monumental, site-specific painting on the floor of the High Museum of Art’s Robinson Atrium.

The atrium floor of the Richard Meier-designed High Museum of Art building will soon be covered by a monumental, site-specific painting by Shanghai artist Michael Lin.

Lin’s “Utah Sky 2065-40 (Blue Curve),” a triangular-shaped work featuring a brightly colored floral pattern inspired by a traditional Asian textile print, will go on view beginning April 24. Visitors will be encouraged to walk on and immerse themselves in the 2,000-square-foot Robinson Atrium painting, constructed of 1-inch-thick wood panels.

Known for such “architectural interventions,” Lin responded to architect Meier’s soaring Stent Wing design and skylight. The artist also took inspiration from Ellsworth Kelly’s shaped canvases on view in the High’s modern and contemporary art permanent collection galleries.

The work’s enigmatic title refers to one of the Benjamin Moore paint colors featured in the design.

“Michael’s works address the power of collective action, the value of labor and the importance of craft,” High contemporary curator Michael Rooks said in a High announcement. “He approaches painting as a bounded, physical space — one that we can inhabit — rather than as an object only to be viewed and contemplated.

“Our visitors will find a very deep connection to the creative process,” Rooks predicted, “as they move within the space of the piece.”

Seven Atlanta artists will work with Lin and his studio to hand paint the panels on site: Curtis Ames, Nick Bable, Henry Detweiler, Heidi Graf, Abbie Merritt, Mac Stewart and Linze Yarbrough.

““Utah Sky” will go on display on the same day as the High opens its “Los Trompos” (“Spinning Tops”) interactive installation by Mexican artists Hector Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena outside on the Woodruff Arts Center’s Sifly Piazza. 1280 Peachtree St. Atlanta. high.org.


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