Maya Kramer and Jin Shan

American, born 1977

Maya Kramer and Jin Shan

American, born 1977

Maya Kramer famously uses commonly found pollutants as primary materials in paintings, sculptures, and time-based installations that addresses the destruction of the natural world. Her work is about “humanity fighting against itself,” as she has said. “This seems to me to be at the heart of environmental issues.” In her 2010 work, There is Nothing You Can Measure Anymore, Kramer began to experiment with the use of laundry detergent as an everyday pollutant. More recently, she has used coal in her paintings and sculptures, a material that, she says, “was seen as so base …but that could also be transformed into something brilliant and sparkling—it seemed analogous to what can happen to the soul.”

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