Krakow Witkin Gallery announces Mel Bochner’s latest exhibition with the gallery. The show presents a new series of mirrored works featuring some of Bochner’s seminal texts and themes from throughout his career. Much of Bochner’s work explores the nature of language and the ways in which it evolves. For works like “Amazing”, Bochner uses the thesaurus to create word lists, rearranging and adding or removing synonyms for sound and composition so as to create not a thesaurus entry but a narrative of ever-changing meaning. Key phrases from his “Exasperations” series examine direct, aggressive language as an expression of irritation, annoyance, vexation and ill-humor at the state of the world, all the while leaving the definitive meaning open-ended. “If The Color Changes” presents a perplexing quote from Ludwig Wittgenstein about the nature of color and uses its English translation to visually obscure and further confuse the text. In etching these texts into mirrored glass, Bochner speaks to the nature of vanity and self-reflection in their various meanings and contradictions. The Latin noun ‘vanitas’ is related to the Hebrew word ‘hevel’, a word whose definition includes the concept of transitoriness. Both the text and the materials featured in this series comment on the evolution of language and offer a meditation on the revealing nature of self-reflection.
Mel Bochner received his BFA and honorary Doctor of Fine Arts in 2005 from the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University. He is recognized as one of the leading figures in the development of conceptual art in New York in the 1960s and 1970s. Mel Bochner’s work is held in the permanent collections of museums including Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Tate, London. Krakow Witkin Gallery has exhibited his work since the mid-1970s.