Mel Chin: High, Low and In Between

Friday, July 27 - Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Museum is pleased to present Mel Chin: High, Low and In Between, an exhibition exploring the artist’s meditations on war, religion and politics. Recognized as an important artist of our time, Mel Chin’s work evades easy classification. His investigations explore our natural and social ecology and the ways art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility.

Central to the exhibition, a unique installation of Chin’s The Funk & Wag from A to Z is located in the Museum’s East Wing. This stunning installation is shown alongside new configurations of Chin’s recent works that highlight contemporary Surrealism and large-scale assemblage.

In The Funk & Wag from A to Z, Chin extracts images from all 25 volumes of the Funk & Wagnall’s Universal Standard Encyclopedia, 1953-56, and reconfigures them as a collection of over five hundred dramatic, black and white collages, through which compelling new political and psychological associations emerge to confound and inspire.

A special installation on Pack Square, Growth of the New Gods (2012), involves entwining a colossal grape vine across the Museum’s façade, loaded with Olympian-scaled leaves and regulation-sized fruit. Surrealism meets Classicism in this sporty public presentation.

Carefully suspended from the ceiling of the Museum’s East Wing, Terrapene Carolina (Hillbilly Armor) (2005) is patterned after the plastron of the Tennessee box turtle, scientifically classified as Terrapene Carolina. Sized for the underbelly of a Humvee, this work comments on the man-made shells of the vehicles that have proven inadequate against the IED (Improvised Explosive Devices), which led to a soldier’s desperate complaint to the Secretary of Defense in 2004. This careful assemblage by the artist is empathetic to the plight of the U.S. troops, who resorted to junkyards to retrofit “hillbilly armor” for protection.

These and other special installations and additional works by the artist may be viewed in the Museum’s East Wing through Sunday, November 25, 2012.

Join Mel Chin on September 11, 2012 for a special screening of his film 9-11/9-11 and an artist tour of these and other works in the exhibition.

This exhibition is organized and curated by the Asheville Art Museum and is sponsored by an anonymous donor, with additional support provided by Chatsworth Art & Antiques and The Frugal Framer. The Funk & Wag from A to Z was originally curated by Ann Harithas.

Related products in the Museum Shop:

Do Not Ask Me, by Mel Chin

9-11/9-11, by Mel Chin


View selected works in the exhibition »