Houston Community News >> RED HOT – Asian Art Today from the Chaney Family Collection Premieres at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

7/24/2007 Houston —Opening July 22, 2007, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, RED HOT -- Asian Art Today from the Chaney Family Collection, is a sweeping overview of the spectacular rise of Asian contemporary art over the past decade. It introduces a series of exhibitions and gallery installations that the museum is devoting to Asian art over the next several years and provides Houston with its first major look at contemporary art from the region. An international phenomenon, literally “red hot” in its energy and rapid development, Asian art has redefined the parameters of today’s contemporary art scene. Drawn from the extraordinary holdings of Houston collectors Robert, Jereann, and Holland Chaney, many of the works have not been seen outside of their home countries. The exhibition runs through October 21, 2007 and is installed in the museum’s premier Brown Foundation Galleries of the Audrey Jones Beck Building. The exhibition will also spill into public spaces around the museum campus.

FENG Zhengjie, Chinese, born 1968, Sichuan Province, China

(FENG Zhengjie, Chinese, born 1968, Sichuan Province, China Lives and works in Beijing Chinese Portrait L Series no. 1. 2007 Oil on canvas Collection of Robert, Jereann, and Holland Chaney (c) Feng Zhengjie, courtesy Tilton Gallery, New York)

Robert and Jereann Chaney, along with their daughter, Holland, have assembled one of this country’s foremost collections of the art and technology of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Among the collection’s strengths is its generous representation of today’s pre-eminent Asian artists. This body of over 120 works and 66 artists reflects the powerful economic shifts and deep social changes that have impacted a rapidly growing class of young artists, making the nations of East Asia leaders in new contemporary art. With a commitment to the cutting-edge, the Chaney Family Collection embraces this radical and exuberant flowering in painting, sculpture, photography, video, and digital media.

RED HOT – Asian Art Today from the Chaney Family Collection offers Texas its first survey of the major currents coming out of the new art centers in Tokyo, Japan; Beijing and Shanghai, China; Seoul, South Korea; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, as well as responses from America and Europe. The exhibition focuses on artists who emerged after the political and economic upheavals of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Many artists of this generation were forced to find new homes abroad, and the exhibition also traces how recent waves of migration have contributed to the globalization of Asian culture.

Dr. Peter C. Marzio, director of the MFAH, commented, “These works of art have been culled from Pop cultures, politics, societal change, and technology in fascinating ways, and challenge us to regard the world afresh. They range from an unqualified optimism to a dystopian realism, expanding our visual vocabulary into the new century.”

In response, Robert Chaney stated, “As major collectors of new contemporary art, we are constantly exposed to opportunities from around the world. However, we always focus our attention on the most fresh and innovative art movements we see, and Asia has clearly been the most important over the last few years. This trend should only accelerate in the future. We are truly impressed with the vision of Peter Marzio and the MFAH staff. Their innovative thinking and commitment to Asian contemporary art sets a new standard.”

The exhibition opens with examples of new sculpture from China, including works by Chen Wenling, the Luo Brothers, and Sui Jianguo. This segment of the installation is complemented by a selection of other Chinese artists who have embraced Pop aesthetics, including Feng Zhengjie, Wang Guangyi, and Zhao Bo. Japanese Pop is introduced by Takashi Murakami’s Tongari-kun (Mr. Pointy) Costume, along with examples by Chiho Aoshima, Chinatsu Ban, Yoshitomo Nara, and Yumi Karasumaru among others. Various strategies in portraiture are represented in the work of Yang Shaobin, Yue Minjun, Fang Lijun, and Zhang Huan, while the new urban landscape is the chief theme of such artists as Miao Xiaochun, Weng Fen, and Zhang Dali. Additionally, major installations by Korea’s Do-Ho Suh dominate two galleries, and works by such artists as Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba and Dinh Q. Le address the darker chapters of recent history. Asian American artists represented include Glenn Kaino, Nikki Lee, and Jean Shin, among others.
Alison de Lima Greene, MFAH curator of contemporary art and special projects, is coordinating curator for the exhibition. “The Chaneys have achieved a remarkable feat,” she said. “Their ambition, genuine curiosity, and ready understanding of new concepts and means of expression consistently animate their collection. Rather than confirming received ideas, the Chaneys’ collection of Asian contemporary art offers an innovative and complex world view.”

RED HOT – Asian Art Today from the Chaney Family Collection will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue featuring a series of interviews with each member of the Chaney family, as well as essays by Peter C. Marzio and the MFAH curatorial staff.

Red Hot Events
The next Starbucks Mixed Media Series at the MFAH will feature Red Hot, and a lively summer film series showcasing the popular Japanese genre anime, and other cutting edge contemporary Asian films will complement the exhibition. Several family matinees are planned.

Organizer and Sponsorship
This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Generous support is provided by Sotheby’s and Compass Bank Wealth Management Group.

MFAH Hours and Admission
Caroline Wiess Law Building of the MFAH is located at 1001 Bissonnet Street, and the Audrey Jones Beck Building is at 5601 Main Street. The museum is open to the public Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Sunday from 12:15-7 p.m. The museum is closed on Monday, except for holidays. General admission is $7 for adults and $3.50 for children 6-18, students, and senior adults (65+); admission is free for museum members, Glassell School students, and children 5 and under. Admission is free on Thursday, courtesy of Shell Oil Company Foundation. Admission also is free on Saturday and Sunday for children 18 and under with a Houston Public Library Power Card or a Harris County Public Library Card. For more information, call 713-639-7300. For information in Spanish, call 713-639-7379. TDD/TYY for the hearing impaired, call 713-639-7390. For membership information, call 713-639-7550 or e-mail membership@mfah.org.

MFAH Parking
The museum’s parking garage is in the MFAH Visitors Center, located at 5600 Fannin Street at Binz Street (entrance on Binz). Free parking is available in two lots on Main Street, at Bissonnet and at Oakdale.

Cafe Express-Museum
Cafe Express-Museum offers convenient dining in the Beck Building of the MFAH. Hours are Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

MFAH Collections
Founded in 1900, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is the largest art museum in America south of Chicago, west of Washington, D.C., and east of Los Angeles. The encyclopedic collection of the MFAH numbers more than 56,000 works and embraces the art of antiquity to the present. Featured are the finest artistic examples of the major civilizations of Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Africa. Italian Renaissance paintings, French Impressionist works, photographs, American and European decorative arts, African and Pre-Columbian gold, American art, and European and American paintings and sculpture from post-1945 are particularly strong holdings. Recent additions to the collections include Rembrandt van Rijn’s Portrait of a Young Woman (1633), the Heiting Collection of Photography, a major suite of Gerhard Richter paintings, an array of important works by Jasper Johns, a rare, second-century Hellenistic bronze Head of Poseidon/Antigonos Doson, and major canvases by 19th-century painters Gustave Courbet and J.M.W. Turner.

MFAH Campus
The MFAH collections are presented in six locations that make up the institutional complex. Together, these facilities provide a total of 300,000 square feet of space dedicated to the display of art. The MFAH comprises:

Two major museum buildings: the Caroline Wiess Law Building, designed by Mies van der Rohe, and the Audrey Jones Beck Building, designed by Rafael Moneo
Two facilities for the Glassell School of Art: one with studio spaces for children and another with studio spaces for adults
Two house museums that exhibit decorative arts: Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens features American works, Rienzi features European works
The Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden, created by Isamu Noguchi

Complementing the public exhibition spaces is a major on-site conservation center where artworks are conserved prior to presentation.  

For information, the public may call 713-639-7300, or visit www.mfah.org . For information in Spanish, call 713-639-7379