Over the last 22 years, Mel Bochner (b. 1940) has produced a remarkable body of text-based works in collaboration with Two Palms, NY. This new exhibition, Mel Bochner, Large-Scale Monoprints, consists of exceptionally physical works printed with the studio's industrial hydraulic press.
"Mel Bochner is celebrated for his key role in the evolution of Conceptual art in the 1960s. Words and language have played significant roles in his art from the beginning, and his work has been rooted in physicality. Bochner makes the conceptual physical, the idea visible. If contradictions inevitably arise, he embraces them. His work must be understood as hybrid, combining the traditional and the experimental, the intellectual and the sensual, the rigor and the humor. In paintings, drawings, and prints he continues his lifelong exploration of the connection between the visual and the verbal, notably in an ongoing series based on Roget’s Thesaurus. The word ‘thesaurus’ means treasure or treasury; for Bochner the volume is a ‘warehouse for words,’ a text ready-made for use in his witty, billboard-like pictures. In each work he groups a collection of synonyms or related phrases in a carefully calculated sequence. High-key colors on delectable backgrounds in equally vivid hues add seductive complexity. The effect is to draw the eye wildly over the composition as the mind attempts to absorb both vibrating colors and staccato text. The words act as both idea and image.”
- Norman L. Kleeblatt, from the exhibition catalogue Mel Bochner, Strong Language, 2014
“When I first installed the piece (Language Is Not Transparent) for the 1970 Dwan Gallery Language exhibition, an assumption was floating around that using language in your art was a communicative shortcut, a direct route from one mind to another. But that’s a very naïve position because it doesn’t acknowledge the politics of language, its hidden ideologies. All abuses of power begin with the abuse of language - just look at the current political situation.”
- Mel Bochner from Mel Bochner in conversation with James Meyer
For further details or to receive a checklist of the exhibition, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 212 965 8598.