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Mel Bochner: Language 1966-2006

Overview

A leading practitioner of conceptual art, Mel Bochner (b. 1940) was one of the first artists in the 1960s to introduce language into the visual field. Despite their significance, these contributions remain unexplored in art historical scholarship. This fascinating book provides the first overview of Bochner’s language-based works from the past forty years, including previously unpublished images and projects.

Long preoccupied by language and its influence on vision and ...

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2007 Hardcover New 030012144X. Flawless copy, brand new, pristine, never opened--Text in English. 148 pp. With 144 ills. (127 col. ). 25 x 25 cm.

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Overview

A leading practitioner of conceptual art, Mel Bochner (b. 1940) was one of the first artists in the 1960s to introduce language into the visual field. Despite their significance, these contributions remain unexplored in art historical scholarship. This fascinating book provides the first overview of Bochner’s language-based works from the past forty years, including previously unpublished images and projects.

Long preoccupied by language and its influence on vision and perception, Bochner has recently shifted from a more analytical use of language to an exploration of the way in which color diverts a text from its duty to convey meaning. As a result, language becomes a tool in Bochner’s interrogation into how an object—be it a painting, sculpture, mathematical equation, or a complete replacement of the “object” with language itself—can function as a work of art.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This is more than just a slim catalog following a recent Art Institute of Chicago exhibition; it is also an efficient anthology of language's enduring importance in Mel Bochner's (b. 1940) practice. Art historian Burton's (Bard Coll. & Columbia) essay, James Meyer's (art history, Emory Univ.) interview, and crisp reproductions of Bochner's various innovative exhibitions, magazine interventions, drawings, sculptures, photographs, quote pieces, and paintings reveal an innovative wordsmith of the conceptual generation. There is nothing groundbreaking in Burton's claim that language is the "connective glue" in Bochner's diverse oeuvre and its intellectual preoccupations. This is evident in Bochner's early word portraits of other artists and notecard statements from the 1960s as well as in his loud "Thesaurus Paintings"; recent scholarship, too, deserves more extensive acknowledgment. But Burton and Meyer both probe the historical ramifications and the paradoxes of language as material and offer fresh insights into Bochner's recent work. While other publications offer a broader view-e.g., Richard Field's excellent Mel Bochner: Thought Made Visible 1966-1973(1995)-this one should not be overlooked. Recommended for art library collections.
—Prudence Peiffer

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300121445
  • Publisher: Art Institute of Chicago
  • Publication date: 6/28/2007
  • Series: Art Institute of Chicago Series
  • Pages: 148
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Johanna Burton is on faculty at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, and the School of the Arts, Columbia University. James Rondeau is Frances and Thomas Dittmer Curator of Contemporary Art, The Art Institute of Chicago.

 

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Table of Contents


Introduction/Acknowledgments   James Rondeau     6
The Weight of the Word: Mel Bochner's Material Language   Johanna Burton     10
Plates     38
Mel Bochner in Conversation with James Meyer     132
Exhibition History and Bibliography of Language-Based Works     144
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