The iconic Mr. Chow headlines in Houston this October. Andy Warhol's "Michael Chow," 1984. (Collection Michael and Eva Chow. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.)
Warhol director Eric Shiner travels to Houston to chat with Michael Chow, one of the star attractions of fall's Texas Contemporary Art Fair. (Photo Abby Warhol)
Michael Chow's "Shoot the Frame," 2014. Courtesy the artist. Chow has returned to painting after nearly a 50-year absence.
Michael Chow's "Under the Clear Sky," 2014. Courtesy the artist. Note the synthesis of Eastern and Western painting traditions.
One of Michael Chow's early canvases, "Untitled," 1962, was recently on view at The Warhol. Courtesy the artist
An early portrait of the artist's father, Zhou Xinfang, a pivotal force in Beijing opera. Shown in the role Mei Bo in “The Burning of Mei Bo,” circa 1920s. (Courtesy Michael and Eva Chow)
Chow's father, Zhou Xinfang, as Deng Ai in “Crossing the Yinping River,” 1915. (Courtesy Michael and Eva Chow)
The scene with the art-world luminati of the time, Mr. Chow's, April 23, 1985. (© Michael Halsband /Landov. Courtesy thecreatorsproject.vice.com)
While collectors, artists and gallerists are gearing up for the Dallas Art Fair, PaperCity has breaking news on the Texas Contemporary Art Fair, returning to Houston for year six from September 29 to October 2 at George R. Brown Convention Center.
The inimitable Michael Chow of Mr. Chow restaurant renown — whose NYC flagship was the habitual haunt of Warhol, Basquiat and the art gang back in the day, to such an extent that a key scene in the Basquiat film is set there — has returned to his passion: visual art.
Fresh from a critically acclaimed exhibition at The Warhol museum in Pittsburgh, which earned the restaurateur/artist an extensive feature in Artnews, Chow will chat as one of the highlights of the Texas Contemporary’s programming. Expect the discussion to center around his circuitous journey in the art world, one Warhol himself would no doubt have approved of.
Joining Mr. Chow in conversation set for Saturday, October 1, at the height of the Fair action will be Warhol director Eric Shiner, discussing the Shanghai-born, London-trained painter’s return to canvas and brushes, after an absence of nearly 50 years. After studying painting at the acclaimed St. Martin’s, and then at the Hammersmith School of Building and Architecture, both in London, Chow moved to Manhattan and opened his first restaurant, the eponymous Mr. Chow, in 1968. Synonymous with the glamour of NYC and cafe society, the restaurant has grown to a global brand and seven locations in the U.S. and London.
Expect Chow and Shiner to dish on aspects of the painter’s background, highlighted by his American museum debut — from his father’s life as a founder of a Beijing school of opera, to his collection of personal portraits painted by illustrious pals Warhol, Basquiat, Ruscha and more, as well as his own bold yet sensitive synthesis of abstract expressionism with centuries-old rich traditions of Chinese painting.
Word’s out there may be a book signing, too, for the artist’s latest, as well as a capsule collection on display of Chow’s recent canvases. His appearance is co-produced by the Texas Contemporary Art Fair, and exhibiting gallerists Barbara Davis and Cindy Lisica, the latter a one-time Warhol museum staffer who curated Time Capsules from the Warhol stash for international exhibitions in Europe and Asia.