Mel Bochner b. 1940


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Mel Bochner was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1940. Bochner is recognized as a pioneer of Conceptual art in New York in the 1960s and 1970s. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a BFA in 1962; then went on to study philosophy at Northwest University in Chicago before moving to New York in 1964. His first job in the city was as a museum guard at the Jewish Museum. In 1966, he accepted a position teaching at the School of Visual Arts.


Mel Bochner felt stuck in abstract expressionism and desperately longed to move away from the artistic movement. He wasn't alone; artists including Eva Hesse, Donald Judd, and Robert Smithson were also looking to break out of Abstract Expressionism and traditional compositional devices. His pioneering introduction of the use of language in the visual is what he is best known for today.


Bochner's work was included in many of the most significant early exhibitions of Conceptual art, including the seminal When Attitudes Become Form at the Kunsthalle Bern, curated by Harald Szeemann in 1969, and Information at the Museum of Modern Art in 1970. He has also been the subject of retrospectives at institutions including the


National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (2011), and the Art Institute of Chicago (2007). He has exhibited widely in the United States and Europe and his work is represented in the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris, among others.


Related categories: Postminimalism, Conceptual Art, Language, Post-War American Art, Text, Color Theory, New York Artists, Generative Art, Typography, 20th Century Art, Math, Mixed-Media, United States, Work on Paper, Process-Oriented, Splattered/Dripped, Painting, Photography