from 08 nov. to 26 jan. 2019
Mel Bochner - Recent Monoprints
Carolina Nitsch Project Room
534 W. 22nd Street
New York, NY
Carolina Nitsch Project Room is pleased to present an exhibition of new monoprints by Mel Bochner. This will be the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery. Mel Bochner was one of the most influential pioneers of Conceptual art emerging in 1960’s New York; a time of radical change in society as well as art. He was part of a generation of artists looking to break from tradition and the weight of Abstract Expressionism by employing new methods and ideas to push the boundaries of art. As the curator Achim Borchardt-Hume wrote, “Bochner has consistently probed the conventions of both painting and of language, the way we construct and understand them, and the way they relate to one another to make us more attentive to the unspoken codes that underpin our engagement with the world.”
His recent prints take this conceptual approach to an extreme tactile level by literally forcing paint into text and exposing its materiality. Mel Bochner was the first artist to work at Two Palms, NY, where these works were created, when David Lasry set up the shop in 1994. The text matrices for these works are formed from thick, laser cut plexiglass sheets which are filled with oil paints of varying viscosity and colors. The typeface is Bochner’s own hand lettering, which he originally developed for his paintings. Custom handmade paper is hand dyed and collaged, the text plate is filled with oil paint, the paper is laid over the plate, and then passed into a hydraulic press transferring the paint from the plates onto the paper. 750 tons of pressure are exerted creating a perceptible relief surface where the thickness of the paint becomes sculptural. Even though the same matrix is used for each iteration of a text, the pressure and viscosity of the paint create unique differences in each pull. Bochner quotes Walter Benjamin: ““Just as Niagara Falls feeds power stations, in the same way the downward torrent of language into smut and vulgarity should be used as a mighty source of energy to drive the dynamo of the creative act”. A major museum survey of fifty years of graphic works by Mel Bochner from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation will run October 14, 2018 – January 6, 2019 at the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Other recent exhibitions include: The Jewish Museum, NY (2014); Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2013); Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto, Portugal (2013); Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK, (2012) and the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (2011).