A public garden & cultural center

Lynn Koble

Call & Response | September 10–December 3, 2017

Pictured above: Tell-Tale, 2017, mirrored polycarbonate, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Wave Hill. 

For Call & Response, Lynn Koble created an outdoor installation of unobtrusive sculptures in the two plant beds on either side of the gallery’s main entrance. Instead of conventional hand-mirrors, the abstracted forms here are inverted. The frame is made from reflective mirror, while the center is an empty space, a window. This inversion creates confusion between what is real and what is reflection, as well as suggesting the interplay between audience, plants and surrounding landscape.

Natural Order
Sunroom Project Space | May 11–June 16, 2013

Natural Order (detail), 2013, mixed-media installation, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Lynn Koble’s work reflects an interest in the various forms of constructed and simulated environments—physical, social, psychological, natural—that exist in a technology-saturated world. She looks at the ways in which people order and disrupt these environments according to systems that can be both scientific and personal, as well as tangible and virtual. Devised to make sense of the world, these systems are often specific to a place, a language or a culture and are subject to modification as people’s understanding of their surroundings changes over time.

For her Sunroom Project, Natural Order, Koble creates a sculptural environment with an apparent simplicity that belies her meticulous, handmade process and thorough methodology; the work points toward a realm of fabrication, artifice and surface. Natural Order features two, symmetrical, room-sized shelving units with ordered rows of more than 150 propagation pots. The pots resemble glass beakers, evoking a complex lab experiment. Each beaker contains a single, handmade, cut-paper sprout and is labeled with the plant’s botanical and common names, identifying its place within an invented taxonomy that is partly scientific, partly whimsical. Taking inspiration from 18th-century botanist Carl Linnaeus’s plant classification system, the shapes of Koble’s sprouts are derived from the reproductive organs of plants. While half of these plants can be found in Wave Hill’s gardens, the others are completely fictitious—artificial interlopers in a quasi-natural system. The sculptural installation includes a printed directory of all of the plants’ names, real or fantastical.



Natural Order, 2013, mixed-media installation, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.