Mel Chin: Inescapable Histories

January 24 – March 30, 2022

Reception: Friday, February 18, 5:30-8 PM

(closed March 14 – 19 for Spring Break)

Mel Chin: Inescapable Histories, a solo exhibition of twenty-four works ranging in date from 1988 through 2022, will be on view in The Gallery at UTA from January 24 – March 30, 2022.

The Gallery at UTA is honored to host the exhibition and welcome Mel Chin, a world-renowned conceptual artist who utilizes painting, sculpture, film, drawing, collage, as well as and other creative media to address complex social and political issues facing contemporary society.


About Mel Chin

Born in Houston, Texas in 1951, Chin is known for the broad range of approaches he enlists in his art, including works that require multi-disciplinary, collaborative teamwork, and works that enlist science, history, and politics as components or layers to develop his ideas. The important issues and concepts he addresses influence the materials he utilizes – from actions, to films, to objects as needed.

Chin also insinuates art into unlikely places, including destroyed homes, toxic landfills, and even popular television, investigating how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility. He created Revival Field (1991), pioneering the field of “green remediation,” the use of plants to remove toxic, heavy metals from the soil. From 1995-1998 he formed the GALA Committee, a collective that produced In the Name of the Place a public art project conducted on American prime-time television. His Fundred Project (2008-present) invests in actions to end childhood lead-poisoning through mass public engagement via the creation of art currency as a means for policy-maker education. He continues to produce original films such as 9-11/9-11 (2007), a film to decenter preoccupations that engender nationalism, winning the Pedro Sienna Award for Best Animation, National Council for the Arts and Cultures, Chile, 2007; and L’Arctique est Paris (2015), to deliver the poignant warnings of a Greenlandic subsistence hunter to an international audience for COP21. In the summer of 2018, he filled New York’s Times Square with a massive sculpture, Wake, on the ground, and an Augmented Reality project, Unmoored, in the air, creating an experiential portal into a past maritime industry and a future of rising waters. All Over the Place, a 40-year survey exhibition at the Queens Museum, was named by Hyperallergic as the best NYC exhibition of 2018.

Chin’s work was documented in the popular PBS television program, Art of the 21st Century and he is the recipient of many awards, grants, and honorary degrees from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, Art Matters, Creative Capital, and the Penny McCall, Pollock/Krasner, Joan Mitchell, Rockefeller and Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundations, among others. In 2019, he received a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, and in 2021 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In association with his exhibition in The Gallery at UTA, Mel Chin will discuss his work in an hour-long gallery talk starting at 12:30 pm on Thursday, February 17. A reception will occur on Friday, February 18 from 5:30-8 pm with brief remarks by the artist beginning at 6:30 pm.

The 2021-2022 exhibition schedule is made possible by the generous support of the UTA Art & Art History Department.