Chet Urban is a Houston-based multimedia artist who makes sculptures and quilts from industrial & post-consumer materials as well as two dimensional monoprints. His material concerns have been focused on common and shared empathic or social definitions within everyday material, such as milled lumber and polypropylene tarpalines. With the latter he explores his own and society's responses to unhoused communities and individuals, displacement, trauma, ecology & natural disasters. Chet maintains an emphasis on minimalism & post-minimalism as the mechanism of message, as a language still useful for meaning-making. His two dimensional work juxtaposes the grid with a sense of randomness and disorder as he uses this process to explore both individual and collective anxiety and the social response to the events that engulf us.
Chet’s work relies on memory not just embedded in materiality, craft and labor but in how his experiences may have a multiplicity of meaning. How a naive or nostalgic notion may reflect or refract on something much more tragic in the lives of people right now. How memories of things past show up when viewing horrors and injustice today that deny or minimize the dignity and worth of the human person.
Originally from Upstate NY, Chet maintained studios in Brooklyn & the South Bronx while also sailing in the merchant marine. Chet moved to Houston in 2011, and resides in Montrose with his wife and daughter.
He is currently a member of the BLOCK XX2 cohort at Glassell Studio School at MFAH.
2022 Craft Texas, (Fall ’22) Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston TX.
2022 BLOCK XX2, (Fall ’22) Curated by Andy Campbell, Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston TX.
2022 New Texas Talent, Craighead Green Gallery, Dallas TX.
2022 Whole in Pieces, curated by Benji Stiles, Monterroso Gallery, Houston TX.
2021 Big Show, Lawndale Arts Center, Houston TX.
2021 Now Contemporary, presented by Art Room, FWCAC, Fort Worth TX.
2021 Visions (2021), The Jung Center, Houston TX.
2021 Go Big, Arts Center Corpus Christi, Corpus Christ TX.
2020 Art Room Small Works, Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Fort Worth TX.
2020 National 2020, Center for Contemporary Art, Abilene, Texas.
2020 Correspondence, Art Room, Fort Worth TX.
2020 TAC Small Works, Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Fort Worth TX.
2019 East, Magnus U1 Gallery (pop-up), in association with East Austin Studio Tour, Austin TX.
2019 12th Texas Society of Sculptors Exhibit, Georgetown Public Library, Georgetown TX.
2019 TAC Annual Juried Group Exhibition, Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Fort Worth TX.
2019 Visions, The Jung Center, Houston, TX.
2018 Due East, Big Medium, Austin TX.
2018 East, Soma Vida Gallery, Austin TX.
2015 Double Ender, Schaffer Library Atrium, Union College, Schenectady, NY.
2007 ReView: Five Union Alumni, Mandeville Gallery, Union College.
2007 National 2007, Cooperstown Arts Association, Cooperstown, NY.
2007 Selections of Sculpture from the Union College Permanent Collection, Burns Arts Atrium
Gallery, Union College, Schenectady, NY.
2007 SyntheticZero, Tribeca, New York, NY.
2006 South Bronx Contemporary, Longwood Arts Project, Bronx, NY.
2005 2 (alumni) SCULPTORS, Union College, Schenectady NY.
1993 Steel, Wood & Other things in Schenectady, Burns Gallery, Union College, Schenectady, NY
2008 Departure: A group show of five concerned photographers, Bruckner Gallery, Bronx NY.
“Art inspires Art, Union College Visual Arts Faculty,” Chris Duncan interviewed by Chet Urban, Mandeville Gallery, Schenectady, NY (2012).
“ReView: Five Union Alumni,” Exhibition Catalog by Rachel Seligman, (Mandeville Gallery, Union College), Schenectady, NY (2007).
“Four Shows in One Celebrate Ethnic Diversity,” by Benjamin Genocchio, New York Times, January 14, 2007. (Photo: Reclining Form).
“Agitprop Tactics, Spoofs and Semantics in the Bronx,” Art Review: 'Longwood Arts Project's 25th Anniversary,’ by Martha Schwendener, New York Times, January 4, 2007.
“A Sculpted Reality,” Union College Magazine, January 12, 2006.
Union College, Schenectady NY; BA History & Visual Arts; 1989-1993.
Maritime College, State University of New York, Ft. Schuyler, Bronx NY; MSc; 1993-1997.
Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; Painting and Drawing; 2001.
School of Visual Arts, New York, NY: Metal Sculpture, Studies in Woodworking & Traditional Hand Tools, Drawing, 2001; Studies in Woodworking & Traditional Hand Tools II, 2002; Printmaking; 2005.
Glassell Studio School, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston TX, BLOCK XX2 program, 2021-2023.
Union College, Permanent Collection (2007)
Union College, Permanent Collection (2015)
Private Collections: New York, NY; Austin, TX