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"Lynden Cline's 'secrets' at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts"
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Review by Jane Ingram Allen
Galleries at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (DCCA) were dark last summer, not from any lack of funding, but intentionally dim for exhibitions by two Mid-Atlantic sculptors. Both artists darkened their individual galleries and highlighted selected areas to direct the viewer’s gaze and enhance the impact of their works. Shadows reflected on the walls and floor of the galleries also added to the visual appeal. Lynden Cline had the walls painted a deep blood red, which contributed to the "dark" physical and emotional impact of her works. Michael Miller’s installation was illuminated only by small light bulbs strategically placed within the work to reflect in mirrors and other glass objects. Coming into the DCCA galleries from the bright summer sunshine for each of these shows was like entering a different world.
Both Cline and Miller are interested in the act of viewing and relationship of the viewer to the work. Cline’s vignettes include small chairs, beds, and other ordinary objects fabricated from steel. The darkened wood pedestals and metal frameworks that are part of these sculptures bring the pieces to eye level. Most are cage-like, keeping us outside looking in. The objects in Cline’s vignettes are arranged to induce viewers to make up their own narratives about what might have happened here. We can speculate about why one chair might be turned over or why all the beds have grown exceedingly tall or why one spike has fallen over while all the others are ramrod straight. Her intriguing titles also give clues about the possible meanings of these pieces. These are haunting works that one remembers long after visiting the exhibition.
In the intense "Several months before you were born, I married a man who wasn’t your father," one looks inside a three-tiered wedding-cake-like metal structure to view a small table and four chairs – one overturned. The glaring spotlight hanging over the scene makes it seem as though an interrogation or some other painful confrontation has just taken place. Reading the artist’s statement, one learns that Cline never knew her biological family and waited some time before being adopted. Her art-making seems to be a cathartic act exorcising emotional pain and reflecting her personal history. "In Spanish, the word 'to wait' is the same as the word 'to hope'...esperar" also evokes strong emotions. One looks through a metal fence structure at a small hole cut into the dirt-covered floor of a wooden stand set on rockers. On the floor beneath, one sees the missing dirt arranged to exactly match the dimensions of the hole above. The work included in "secrets" bares Cline’s feelings and reflects her intense emotional history, but it is not sentimental; instead it is poetic and evocative, leaving much to the viewer’s own imagination.
WHYY Television --
PBS Affiliate in Philadelphia
"At the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts: Lynden Cline's 'secrets'"
Coming up next, using cold hard steel to bring life to emotions. That’s the theme of this new art exhibit in Wilmington. We’ll take you there. Its all coming up on WHYY's Delaware Tonight.
A one of a kind exhibit of steel sculptures is the newest entry at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts. It's Lynden Cline’s "secrets" on display through the end of August. WHYY’s videographer Lynn Cates takes us on the tour.
Neil Watson, Executive Director, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts:
Lynden Cline is an artist who is based in Washington DC, and she works with steel. She uses universal symbols, universal objects – trees, fences, chairs -- and for her they have specific meaning. But for a visitor and for a viewer when they experience her work, it becomes universal in a sense that every viewer brings their own experiences to the work as well as what the artist’s intent originally was. One of the remarkable things about Lynden’s work ultimately is the fact that what drives the work is as much about space and about how there is so much air within the sculptures. If you start to look at the works, you will see that because of the nature of the steel and the images that she uses, they are dense in their intent and in their imagery, but at the same time they are very airy. She makes it effortless, and in that way it just reveals the work even more.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
"MUST SEE -- Visual Arts"
Review by: Victoria Donohue
A solo exhibition at Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts features sculptor Lynden Cline of Washington DC, whose work in steel has a tense overlay of meaning and urgency because it centers on personal identity, family, and her status as an adopted child who never knew her biological relatives. A "must see" exhibit.
Wilmington (Delaware) News
"Modernist Art at DCCA Center"
Review by: Paula Shulak
A visit to the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts is always interesting. Of the four recent exhibits, I recommend one, entitled "secrets" by Lynden Cline.
...However, I did greatly appreciate the dark, monochromatic sculptures of Lynden Cline who bases her work on the fact that she was adopted and never knew her real parents. This exhibit is as intensely personal as "Wake" (another exhibit at DCCA) but in a way which is equally meaningful for the viewer.
Illumination is important and almost every piece has a candle, bulb or some other light focus and in addition is placed high on a platform of some type as if the artist is forever reaching upward toward some unknown answer. And, it is amazing into how many different forms she melds steel.
She too uses a gestural method and allows her inner self to guide her work, but in a much more successful way (than in "Wake"). Her titles reveal an inner struggle to unravel the many secrets of her existence: "Several months before you were born, I married a man who wasn’t your father" and "In Spanish the word ‘to wait’ is the same as the word ‘to hope’...esperar" are just two examples.
Also, please be sure to see "Bloodline II," a piece consisting of several varied-size steel rods all pointing upwards and surrounding a small steel dish of a blood-red substance: powerful image which speaks volumes, as do all of Cline’s works. This is a most provocative exhibit.
The Boston Globe
"Skill and Variey Mark CAA Prize Show"
Review by: Cate McQuaid
Each spring, the Cambridge Art Association mounts its National Prize Show, an ambitious effort that this year drew entries from every state save North Dakota. The exhibit deserves note not only for its scope but also for the distinguished jurors it engages. This year, Lisa Dennison, deputy director and chief curator of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, scrutinized nearly 3,700 slides before she chose the 135 works that made up the show.
It’s a big and varied exhibit, with some strong work...Lynden Cline’s sculpture "Several months before you were born, I married a man who wasn’t your father" is a black steel cage containing a small table and chairs, suggesting the psychological and familial prison created by life stories and the secrets that inform them.
The Boston Herald
Visual Arts On Exhibit-- Cambridge Art Association National Prize Show
Review by: Mary Sherman
...Lynden Cline’s haunting black metal framework of a wedding cake with small aluminum colored chairs and tables inside evokes Louise Bourgeois’ (recognized as one of the most important American artists of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries) more psychologically fraught constructs.
The Washington Post
On Exhibit -- Corcoran College of Art & Design Alumni Show
Review by: Art Critic Michael O’Sullivan
...Lynden Cline’s series of elongated empty-bed sculptures are subtly moving, if inflected with a kind of muted resentment that doesn’t seem healthy. According to the artist, who writes that her work explores her emotions as an adoptee, "to be adopted by someone is to be rejected by someone else." In one of her titles, "I, not rememb’ring how I cried out then, will cry it o’er again," she quotes the character Miranda in Shakespeare's The Tempest.
The Washington Post
Without Hue: A Rainbow of Grays
Review by: Art Critic Jessica Dawson
Whatever happened to neutrals? Fashion editors can’t stop romancing the garish 70's.... Three monochromatic exhibits up now offer an antidote to the visual melee. Like ocular sorbet, they cleanse the palette, so to speak.
The "Hepner/Cline" show at 57 N Fine Art might be subtitled "The Zen of Steel and Gray-Painted Floorboards." Donna Hepner’s graphite drawings and Lynden Cline’s metal sculptures fit right into this former warehouse, with its white-painted brick and exposed steel supports, massaging the eye with soothing gray and black.
...Sculptor Cline invokes tiny marvels, too, in some of her simple steel sculptures about angst and anomie. "Soft creamy center" sounds like something in a Whitman’s Sampler, but it’s a tote bag fashioned out of steel whose sandblasted surface and handles mimic the folds of leather. Inside the bag, a tiny uncovered light bulb illuminates the prisonlike scene of a simple bed and a high-backed chair. Cline’s bag-prison is a Freudian’s dream; the dollhouse scale makes me wonder who lives there.
The Washington Post
'Art-O-Matic': A Mixed Bag (But Some Art Is Worth Searching Out)
Review by: Senior Art Critic Ferdinand Protzman
If "Art-O-Matic," the sprawling, labyrinthine exhibit at the Manhattan Laundry, had an official symbol, it would have to be the glazed doughnut, because that’s what a person’s eyes resemble after strolling past works by more than 350 artists. The space is so huge, the art so varied in style, concept and quality that it’s difficult to take it all in at one go without glazing over.
But for those who can spend a few hours touring the vast Florida Venue space certain things become self-evident. First among them is that the cream rises to the top.
...Although their respective works couldn’t be more different, Wendy Ross, Nancy Sansom Reynolds, Richard Dana, Annette Polan, Michael Platt, Barbara Liotta and Lynden Cline all created memorable installations...