At a time when painting was increasingly being discussed as outdated, Bochner became part of a new generation of artists that included Eva Hesse, Donald Judd, and Robert Smithson – artists who, like Bochner, were looking for ways to break with Abstract Expressionism and traditional means of composition.
Mel Bochner came of age in the second half of the 1960s, a moment of radical change both in society as a whole and in art. While painting slowly lost its prominent position in modern art, the language of speaking about art became a part of art itself. Bochner has repeatedly examined the conventions of both painting and language, the ways in which we construct and understand them, and the ways in which they relate to each other, in order to draw our attention to the unspoken codes that underpin our engagement with the world.
Mel Bochner studied at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, where he received his B.F.A. in 1962. Since 1964 he has lived and worked in New York City. He has had numerous exhibitions in the United States and Europe and his work is represented in the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Musée National dArt Moderne in Paris.
His groundbreaking introduction of the use of language into the visual arts led art historian Benjamin Buchloh of Harvard University to describe his Working Drawings, created in 1966, as “probably the first truly conceptual exhibition.
In 2005 he received an honorary doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University of Fine Arts. Mel Bochner has also taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He was appointed to the faculty at Yale in 1979 as a senior painter/printmaker and became a professor in 2001.
AUSTRALIA The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane
CANADA Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal
DENMARK Museet for Samtidskunst, Roskilde
FRANCE Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Fonds national d’art contemporain, Paris
FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon
FRAC Bretagne, Chateaugiron
GERMANY Städel Museum, Frankfurt
PORTUGAL Museu Serralves, Porto
SPAIN Reina Sofia, Madrid
SWEDEN Moderna Museet, Stockholm
SWITZERLAND Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur
UK British Museum, London
USA Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
The Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
David Owsley Museum of Art, Ball State University, Muncie
Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge
Indianopolis Museum of Art, Indianopolis
The Jewish Museum, New York
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University, Atlanta
MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
University Art Museum, University at Albany, SUNY, Albany
The Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
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+49 911 23737500