Skip to main content

Mel Bochner

April 23, 2022 – June 1, 2022

“No beginning. It’s all a continuum.”
Mel Bochner

Krakow Witkin Gallery announces an exhibition of large-scale silkscreens that Mel Bochner has made over the past five years. For these new works, Bochner has photographed the Plexiglas blocks with which he has made his monoprints and then printed those photos as multi-color screenprints. The imagery shows not only the texts, but the scrapes, chips and imperfections in the well-worn blocks. Printing this imagery with high contrast color juxtapositions, Bochner explores the relationship between the visual and the textual (when and how one moves between viewing, reading and deciphering a work of art). With no one fixed voice, he has made pieces that are confounding, confusing, dynamic, and humorous simultaneously.

As a bit of history, in 2001, Bochner began a series of works engaging everyday speech by using synonyms derived from the latest edition of Roget’s Thesaurus. Bochner was inspired by the Thesaurus’ then-new permissiveness to broaden his linguistic references juxtaposing proper with vernacular, formal against vulgar, high against low. Twenty-one years later, and still drawn from Roget’s Thesaurus, as well as dictionaries of slang, the language in the recent works can vary from the casual to crude and can simultaneously be read as defeatist and elated, all while engaging social issues of the day.

Roberta Smith wrote in a New York Times review, “The new Bochners unleash something malicious, sharp and funny that has always lurked beneath the surface, conveying the rage of life while maintaining the artist’s characteristic surface of elegance, intellect and formalism. In a sense they are Expressionistic works, filled with pain, and grinning and bearing it.”

Simultaneous with the exhibition, the Art Institute of Chicago has just opened a major retrospective of Bochner’s drawings. It is on view through August.

Mel Bochner [born 1940] is recognized as one of the leading figures in the development of Conceptual art in New York in the 1960s and 1970s. Emerging at a time when painting was increasingly discussed as outmoded, Bochner became part of a new generation of artists which also included Eva Hesse, Donald Judd, and Robert Smithson – artists who, like Bochner, were looking at ways of breaking with Abstract Expressionism and traditional compositional devices. His pioneering introduction of the use of language in the visual, led Harvard University art historian Benjamin Buchloh to describe his 1966 Working Drawings as ‘probably the first truly conceptual exhibition.’ Over the course of a career that has spanned nearly six decades, Mel Bochner has been at the forefront of Conceptual Art, producing thought-provoking work in nearly every medium: drawing, painting, prints, photography, sculpture, books, and installations.

Works In Exhibition

Exhibition View

Mel Bochner Exhibition View
View Artwork

Blah, Blah, Blah (Inverse)

Mel Bochner Blah, Blah, Blah (Inverse) 2022 Silkscreen on Lanaquarelle paper

Edition of 30
Image/paper size: 62 x 47 inches (157.5 x 119.4 cm)
Frame size: 65 1/8 x 49 3/4 inches (165.4 x 126.4 cm)
Signed, dated, and numbered lower right in graphite
(Inventory #33717)
Krakow Witkin 2022.02

View Artwork

Head Honcho

Mel Bochner Head Honcho 2020 Silkscreen on Lanaquarelle paper

Edition of 30
Image/paper size: 63 x 48 inches (160 x 121.9 cm)
Frame size: 65 3/4 x 50 5/8 inches (167 x 128.6 cm)
Signed and dated lower right in graphite
(Inventory #33635)
Krakow Witkin 2020.04

View Artwork

Exhibition View

Mel Bochner Exhibition View
View Artwork

Exhibition View

Mel Bochner Exhibition View
View Artwork

Oh Well

Mel Bochner Oh Well 2020 Silkscreen in seven colors on Lanaquarelle paper

Edition of 30
Image/paper size: 67 3/8 x 48 inches (171.1 x 121.9 cm)
Frame size: 70 1/8 x 50 3/4 inches (178.1 x 128.9 cm)
Signed, numbered, and dated lower right in graphite
(Inventory #33779)
Krakow 2020.02

View Artwork

Exhibition View

Mel Bochner Exhibition View
View Artwork

Thank You

Mel Bochner Thank You 2021 Silkscreen with color shifting ink

Edition of 30
Paper size: 56 1/4 x 50 inches (142.9 x 127 cm)
Frame size: 59 3/4 x 53 inches (151.8 x 134.6 cm)
Signed, dated, and numbered lower right in graphite
(Inventory #33517)
Krakow Witkin 2021.01

View Artwork

Blah, Blah, Blah

Mel Bochner Blah, Blah, Blah 2022 Silkscreen on Lanaquarelle paper

Edition of 30
Image/paper size: 62 1/2 x 47 inches (158.8 x 119.4 cm)
Frame size: 65 3/4 x 50 1/4 inches (167 x 127.6 cm)
Signed, dated, and numbered lower right in graphite
(Inventory #33710)
Krakow Witkin 2022.01

View Artwork

Exhibition View

Mel Bochner Exhibition View
View Artwork

Obliterate

Mel Bochner Obliterate 2018 Silkscreen in thirteen colors on Lanaquarelle paper

Image/paper size: 50 x 40 inches (127 x 101.6 cm)
Frame size: 53 1/4 x 43 1/8 inches (135.3 x 109.5 cm)
Edition of 30
Signed, dated, and numbered lower right in graphite
(Inventory #32345)
Krakow Witkin 2018.03

View Artwork

Amazing

Mel Bochner Amazing 2013 Silkscreen with color shifting inks on Lanaquarelle Satin paper

Edition of 20
Image/paper size: 68 1/2 x 47 inches (174 x 119.4 cm)
Signed, numbered and dated lower right in graphite
(Inventory #33740)
Krakow Witkin 2013.07

View Artwork

Obscene

Mel Bochner Obscene 2017 Silkscreen in eight colors

Edition of 30
Image/paper size: 61 3/4 x 46 1/2 inches (156.8 x 118.1 cm)
Signed, dated, and numbered lower right in graphite
(Inventory #31573)
Krakow Witkin 2017.02

View Artwork

Silence

Mel Bochner Silence 2013 Nineteen-color water-based silkscreen with color shifting inks on Lanaquarelle paper

Edition of 20
Image/paper size: 60 x 45 inches (152.4 x 114.3 cm)
Signed, dated and numbered lower right in graphite
(Inventory #33778)
Krakow Witkin 2013.05

View Artwork