Find Yourself in a Mirrored Labyrinth

Mirror Labyrinth NY (2016) is the first work by Danish artist Jeppe Hein to enter the People’s Collection and aligns with the NCMA’s commitment to expanding its holdings of global contemporary art. This outdoor sculpture also correlates with a dedication to introduce interactive art to the Museum Park that challenges visitors’ spatial awareness and their impact on the environment, key components of Hein’s artistic practice. 

“Almost all of my artworks are interactive to the public and offer the possibility of participating in the action of a piece, of being confronted with the surprise of the unexpected.” —Jeppe Hein

Jeppe Hein, Mirror Labyrinth NY, 2016, high polished stainless steel and aluminum, H. 106 1/4 x W. 277 1/2 x D. 288 1/4 in., Gift of Pat and Tom Gipson

Jeppe Hein’s portfolio consists of numerous experiential and interactive public works that emphasize the intersections among art, architecture, and technical innovation. Hein’s recent works include sculptural mazes constructed out of different media and dynamic elements, including mirrors, water, and light. Drawing inspiration from the minimalist and conceptual artists of the 1970s, like Dan Graham and Larry Bell, Hein explores perception and illusion in his sculptures, and he often incorporates components that place spectators at the center of the artwork to focus on their experience and perception of the surrounding space.

Jeppe Hein, Mirror Labyrinth NY (detail)

Mirror Labyrinth NY is composed of 75 reflective posts of varying heights. “The mirror-polished, stainless-steel panels are placed in three radiating arcs that form a labyrinth, mirroring and distorting the surrounding environment,” says Hein. “Visitors are encouraged to walk the pathways formed by the negative space of Mirror Labyrinth NY, with each step further altering their already shifted perception of the installation site. The mirrored posts appear to recede into the landscape at times and boldly contrast with it at others.”

Jeppe Hein, Mirror Labyrinth NY (detail)

The multifaceted reflections produced by the mirrored surfaces,” says the artist, “put the viewer in an unfamiliar and disorienting setting, challenging their perception of space as they walk through the labyrinth. Visitors appear and disappear in the reflected surfaces as they explore the work.”

Jeppe Hein, Mirror Labyrinth NY (detail)

Mirror Labyrinth NY is located near the main Blue Ridge Road entrance to the Museum campus, where there is ample parking in the upper lot. How do you see yourself inside the labyrinth? Share your photos at #ArtNaturePeople.

Linda Johnson Dougherty
Linda Johnson Dougherty is chief curator and curator of contemporary art at the NCMA.

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