Blaffer Art Museum opening reception and artist talk: Mel Chin: Rematch
Blaffer Art Museum presents about half the works in the Houston presentation of the New Orleans Museum of Art-organized retrospective Mel Chin: Rematch, with additional works on view at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Asia Society Texas Center and the Station Museum of Contemporary Art.
While some of Chin's best-known works reflect his concern for social justice, the exhibition corrects a common misunderstanding of his mission — that he is out to save the world or make people behave a certain way. On the contrary, he has said that he views art as "a catalytic force" that fosters the availability of options in order "to allow things to happen."
Avoiding a chronological presentation, the retrospective's 60 artworks highlight thematic strands that underscore Chin's broad range of subject matter, materials and formal approaches. Chin describes the survey as an opportunity to revisit, reframe and battle his previous conceptions.
Key works at Blaffer will include Chin's major science-based projects, including Revival Field and Operation Paydirt/The Fundred Dollar Bill Project; In the Name of the Place: Gala Committee (1995-97), for which Chin collaborated with the TV series Melrose Place to insert socially engaged artworks into the show's sets and props; and the large-scale installation The Funk and Wag from A to Z (2012), a surrealist arrangement of collages culled from the Funk and Wagnalls encyclopedia.
During the roving four-venue opening on Jan. 17, Chin will present a staggered series of artist talks, starting with Blaffer at noon, Asia Society at 2 p.m. and CAMH at 4 p.m., followed by a party at the Station from 6-9 p.m.