Top of page

Exhibition Art in Action: Herblock and Fellow Artists Respond to Their Times

Mel Chin (b. 1951). Revival Ramp, 1996. Etching, aquatint, soft ground, engraving, photo etching, and lithography. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. © Mel Chin, used by permission (017.00.00)

Cycle of Renewal

Born in Houston, Texas, Mel Chin is known for site-specific environmental art. Revival Ramp documents his Revival Field project in Minnesota, designed to draw toxins from the soil using hyperaccumulator plants. The ramp begins with a pastoral scene and trees based on Leonardo Da Vinci’s early-sixteenth-century drawing A Copse of Trees. The spiral moves down past industrial pollution to Chin’s installation and emerges in a fresh landscape where the trees appear to glow in the color of Leonardo’s original red chalk drawing.