Mel Bochner

Mel Bochner (American, born 1940) received his BFA from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh in 1962. Shortly after moving to New York City in 1964, he became involved in two of the major movements of the period—minimal art, which was already being developed by artists such as Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Sol LeWitt, and conceptual art, a then-nascent movement of which Bochner would become a key figure. In 1966 he organized the exhibition Working Drawings And Other Visible Things On Paper Not Necessarily Meant To Be Viewed As Art at the School of Visual Arts, New York—a show that is now considered to be one of the first conceptual art exhibitions. The same year Bochner began making photo works, including his important 36 Photographs and 12 Diagrams, which was exhibited at Dwan Gallery, New York, in 1967. In 1969 the artist created his now-famous Measurement Room at Galerie Heiner Friedrich in Munich, Germany.

As both an artist and critic, Bochner has served as an interpreter and interlocutor for many other artists of his generation. His early writings, including Art in Process—Structures (Arts Magazine, 1966), Serial Art Systems: Solipsism (Arts Magazine, 1967), and The Serial Attitude (Artforum, 1967), all attempted to elucidate some of the fundamental ideas at work in minimalism and early conceptualism. Major exhibitions of Bochner’s work include Mel Bochner: Thought Made Visible 1966–1973 at the Yale University Art Gallery in 1995; Mel Bochner: Photographs 1966–1969 at the Harvard University Art Museums in 2002; Mel Bochner: Language 1966–2006 at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006; and Mel Bochner: Strong Language at the Jewish Museum in 2014.

Self Portrait, 2016, collodion lantern slide on mirror
None Tangent, 1967 / fabricated 2009, gelatin-silver print, cut into 16 parts & each mounted on aluminum
Surface Dis/Tension, 1968 / fabricated 2009, gelatin-silver print on aluminum mount
Measurement: 199
Photography Before the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, 2011, gelatin-silver print [I], platinum print [II], collodion print [III], albumen print [IV], cyanotype print [V] & salt print [VI]
Language Is Not Transparent (ask Alice), 2016, collodion lantern slide on mirror
Photograph-Blocks (Four by Four), 1967 / fabricated 2009, five gelatin-silver prints mounted on aluminum
Get Lost, 2014, enamel & acrylic on canvas
3 Photographs and 1 Diagram (Row E), 1966 / fabricated 2010, four gelatin-silver prints mounted on aluminum
Transparent and Opaque: 1 / 2 / 9 / 4, 1968 / fabricated 2010, four fujiflex prints mounted on plexiglas
Smear: #2, #2 (Negative), #1, #1 (Negative), 1968 / fabricated 2010, four c-prints
Random Numbers #29, 2001, oil on canvas
No., 2012, oil & acrylic on canvas
Either, 2006, acrylic on canvas