Mel Bochner is recognized as one of the founding figures of Conceptual Art in New York in the 1960s and 1970s, a time when painting was beginning to be questioned and considered a thing of the past. In this context, Bochner joined a generation of artists, including Eva Hesse, Donald Judd and Robert Smithson, who were looking for a way to break with Abstract Expressionism and traditional compositional resources. Bochner was a pioneer in introducing the use of written language in the visual arts.
The 1966 Bochner Exhibition at the School of Visual Arts, “Working Drawings And Other Visible Things On Paper Not Necessarily Meant To Be Viewed As Art” , is often remembered as one of the most influential of the Conceptual Art movement and was described by art historian and Harvard University professor Benjamin Buchloh as “probably the first truly conceptual exhibition”.
Bochner came of age during the second half of the 1960s, a time of radical change in society in general and in art as well. Bochner’s work moves consistently between both registers, painting and language.
Bochner’s works based on written language have been exhibited over the past few years in various solo exhibitions at different museums, including The Jewish Museum, New York, 2014; the Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2013; Museum of Contemporary Art of Serralves, Porto, Portugal, 2013; The Whitechapel Gallery, London 2012; The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, 2011; and The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 2006.
Mel Bochner lives and works in New York. His work includes painting, installations, video and public projects, has been exhibited in the main galleries and museums in Europe and the United States and is found in the collections of the main museums in the world such as the MoMA in New York, the Tate Modern in London or the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, in addition to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid (deposit of the Sonnabend Collection).