Jonathan Ferrara Gallery is proud to announce More Greatest Hits, a multi-media exhibition
featuring works by artist Mel Chin. More Greatest Hits will be on view from February 12th
through April 12th, 2014, with opening receptions on Thursday, February 13th, 5-7pm and
Saturday April 5th, 6-9pm.
In advance of the major Mel Chin retrospective exhibition, Rematch, at the New Orleans
Museum of Art, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery presents a rich selection of over twenty works by
Mel Chin including works on paper, small sculptures, and a recent major work, the Cabinet of
Craving. All works reflect the diversity of Chin’s concerns: current events, power and politics,
cross-cultural aesthetics, complex ideas, all made with exquisite craftsmanship in service to
concept. Drawings reflect multiple themes, from the destruction of culture in an ancient
society to enigmatic pairings of cultural motifs. Skillful, sophisticated renderings of
unexpected images are mysterious, magnetic, and moving.
Since it’s hard to reveal all the selections for the retrospective, I can offer some additional hits
to convey the shapes of things to come. - Mel Chin
Among the works in the gallery are: Cross for the Unforgiven, a conflation of powerful
representative iconographies. Eight AK-47s come together in a new arrangement of creation
and destruction projecting both belief and violence at once, and yet open to individual
interpretation. Imperfect Pearls in the Ether of Infinite Labor, a combination woodcut and
lithograph, is a gorgeous abstract homage to collective aesthetic effort. QWERTY Courbet, an
imbedded wall sculpture, comes from a dream and evokes the master artist Gustav Courbet’s
L'Origine du monde. Contemporary use of, and obsession with, the internet and an historical
origin of the male gaze are reflected in the active keyboard and computer screen. Also expect
rare, esoteric, stand-alone works derived from source material executed during Chin’s research
and development of installations and projects.
Mel Chin was born in Houston, Texas and began making art at an early age. He is known for
the broad range of approaches in his art, including works that require multi-disciplinary,
collaborative teamwork and works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas.
He developed Revival Field (1989-ongoing), a project that pioneered the field of "green
remediation," the use of plants to remove toxic, heavy metals from the soil. A current project,
Fundred Dollar Bill/Operation Paydirt, focuses on national prevention of childhood leadpoisoning.
Mel is also well known for his iconic sculptures, works that often address the
importance of memory and collective identity, and for inserting art into unlikely places,including destroyed homes, toxic landfills, and even popular television, investigating how art
can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility. His work is exhibited extensively in
the U.S. and abroad and was documented in the popular PBS program, Art 21: Art of the 21st
Century. His proposal for a New World Trade Center was part of the American representation
at the 2002 Venice Biennale of Architecture. Mel is the recipient of numerous national and
international awards, including four honorary doctorates. A monograph of the installation, The
Funk & Wag from A to Z, is being published by the Menil Collection and distributed by Yale
University press in 2014, and a traveling retrospective exhibition of his work, titled Rematch,
will open at the New Orleans Museum of Art in February, 2014.
Chin has been exhibited nationally and internationally in institutions such as: Museum of
Modern Art (MoMA), Whitney Museum of American Art, Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture
Garden, Menil Collection, Smithsonian Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston), The
Queens Museum of Art, Bronx Museum of Arts, Asheville Arts Museum, Royal Ontario
Museum, Denver Museum of Art, Portland Museum of Art, Cleveland Center for Contemporary
Art, Asheville Arts Museum, Museum of Fine Arts (Houston) and Mint Museum of Art. He has
been commissioned for public projects and installations for: MoMA P.S.1, The New York Times
Magazine, Central Park Arts Commission, Bryant Park, Corcoran College of Art and Design,
and Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Chin’s work awarded numerous honors, including:
National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Pollock/ Krasner Foundation Fellowship, Louis
Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, Rockefeller Foundation Grant, Joan Mitchell Foundation
Award, Creative Capital Grant, and an Honorary Doctorate - Rhode Island School of Design
Chin’s work has been reviewed in numerous publications including Artforum, Art in America,
ARTnews, Art Papers, New York Times, Times Magazine, Village Voice, The Washington Post,
Los Angeles Times, Sculpture Magazine, Scientific American, Newsweek, San Francisco
Chronicle American Art: A Cultural History, Arts Magazine, The Houston Chronicle, The Times
Picayune. His work appears in many public collections including MoMA, Whitney Museum of
American Art, Walker Art Center, High Museum of Art, The Menil Collection, New York Public
Library, The Federal Reserve, Museum of Fine Art (Houston), El Paso Museum of Art,
Columbus Museum of Art and Birmingham Museum.
Mel Chin live and works in Asheville, North Carolina.