FRIDAY NIGHTS AT NOMA: GALLERY TALK WITH MEL CHIN

5 - 9 p.m.; Gallery Talk at 6:30 p.m. February 21, 2014

 

Come celebrate the opening of Mel Chin: Rematch with us! The artist himself will be giving a gallery talk of his retrospective exhibition that covers his decades-long career.

  • 5-8 p.m.: Art on the Spot: free art activities
  • 5:30-8:30 p.m.: Music by Lynn Drury
  • 6:30-7:30 p.m.: Gallery Talk by Mel Chin
  • 8-9 p.m.: Film: ART21: Consumption

About Mel Chin: Rematch

Since the 1970s, Mel Chin (born 1951, Houston) has influenced a generation of artists and curators interested in conceptual art and political awareness. His oeuvre encompasses a wide variety of media including sculpture, video, drawing, painting, land art, and performance art. Eschewing a trademark style, the common thread through Chin’s practice is his conceptual rigor, thoughtful historicism, and concern for social justice. He challenges traditional definitions of ownership and authorship by creating artworks that are often site-specific and collaborative, involving many artists and community members. He has taught and lectured widely, often including his students in large-scale projects that span years. His land-based works such as Revival Field from the early 1990s and Operation Paydirt (Fundred) (2008-ongoing), garnered significant international press for presenting the science of soil remediation as an art form. On a parallel track to his site-specific work, Chin has produced an independent body of sculpture and drawing steeped in the legacy of Dada and Surrealism, particularly the strains of chance, eroticism, and societal critique. Although Chin has had solo exhibitions at museums including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (1989), the Walker Art Center (1990), The Menil Collection (1991) and the Station Museum, Houston (2006), this will be the first exhibition to incorporate and contextualize the major projects and installations from all decades of his career.

Mel Chin: Rematch is organized by Miranda Lash, the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the New Orleans Museum of Art. This exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, which includes essays by Miranda Lash, Eleanor Heartney, critic for Art in America, Patricia C. Phillips, Associate Provost, at the Rhode Island School of Design, Patricia Covo Johnson, former critic for the Houston Chronicle, and poet Andrei Codrescu, among others. The catalogue will also include an extensive illustrated chronology of Chin’s career (the first to-date) by Lisa Crossman, PhD.

About Lynn Drury
Lynn Drury has been performing, in one arena or another, her entire life. At the ripe old age of five she won a 4-H state competition in Mississippi in pole bending. If you don’t know what pole bending is, it’s a little like barrel racing, Lynn says. That’s horse talk. In a word, rodeos. Once you know that much about Lynn, you understand her approach. She picked up the guitar at 26, went at it like a pro, and she’s never stopped working. Her inspiration is her environment and since the mid nineties, that environment has been New Orleans. The transition for the Yazoo City-born Drury was smooth. She says jasmine smells like honeysuckle, and you believe her. Sultry, sweet songs turn funky, and it’s all in the same neighborhood. These days, Lynn herself is part of the scenery. She’s been a regular at French Quarter Fest and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival for years, and has played just about everywhere in town.

Drury released her first CD, “Crossing Frequencies,” in 2001 and over the next two years released two more — “Blackberry Winter” and “Spun,” as well as winning Best Emerging Singer/Songwriter for Offbeat Magazine. In 2006 her record “All You Need” produced by Jimbo Mathus (Squirrel Nut Zippers) was nominated for Best Roots-Rock Album at the Big Easy Awards, and it’s still selling. In 2008 Lynn moved to Italy and toured Europe with Italian guitarist Roberto Luti, releasing “Dal Vivo,” a live CD in 2009. In 2010 a grant from Threadhead Records Foundation assisted Lynn in making “Sugar On the Floor.” The stellar lineup on the record includes Alex McMurray (Tin Men, Royal Fingerbowl), Tommy Malone (Subdudes), Ivan Neville, Helen Gillet, Bill Malchow, and Eric Traub. Produced by Carlo Nuccio (who also plays drums on the album), much of the disc was recorded and engineered by Jacques DeLatour at Fudge Recording Studios in New Orleans. “Sugar On the Floor” was released in the spring of 2011. A new recording project is underway.

About Consumption

How does contemporary art address the idea of consumption? How do artists question commonly held assumptions about commerce, mass media, and consumer society? The “Art in the Twenty-First Century” documentary Consumption explores these questions through the work of the artists Barabra Kruger, Michael Ray Charles, Matthew Barney, Andrea Zittel, and Mel Chin.