Mel Bochner  (American, 1940) 

Mel Bochner (American, b.1940) is one of the pioneers of Conceptual Art. He has helped to develop many of the techniques used by the Conceptual and Installation artists who followed him into the art world. In high school, Bochner studied Art with Joseph Fitzpatrick, a teacher of young gifted artists. In 1962, he graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in New York, where he had studied Art. Bochner went on to study Philosophy for a short time at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.

In 1964, the artist moved to New York, where he worked as a guard at The Jewish Museum. While in New York, he was given the opportunity to teach Art History at the School of Visual Arts. It was at this school that Bochner had his first showing; the 1966 show Working Drawings And Other Visible Things On Paper Not Necessarily Meant To Be Viewed As Art consisted of photocopies of working drawings from his friends placed into four black binders on four pedestals. The showing was well received, and was seen as a defining example of the Conceptual Art movement, where the concept of the presentation is the most important aspect of the artwork. Further teaching work followed for Bochner; he took the position of senior critic in Painting and Printmaking at Yale University in 1979, and taught at Yale in 2001 as adjunct professor.

In the 1970s, Bochner began to present his work in paintings. His works sometimes featured bright colors and words, while at other times they appeared more conceptual than artistic, with the painting appearing carefully planned and executed rather than impulsive. The artist’s work employed a variety of mediums, from oil on velvet to glass stones and chalk on the floor. Bochner's works were widely exhibited throughout his career. In 1995, the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, CT, showed his work as a retrospective titled Mel Bochner: Thought Made Visible 1966-1973. In 2011, another retrospective, In the Tower: Mel Bochner, was shown at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. His writings on art included the book Solar System & Rest Rooms: Writings and Interviews, 1965-2007 and Mel Bochner: Thought Made Visible 1966-1973. The artist's work is represented by Peter Freeman, Inc. in New York, NY, Marc Selwyn Fine Art in Los Angeles, CA, Galerie Nelson-Freeman in Paris, France, Galleria il Gabbiano in Rome, Italy, and Two Palms Press in New York. Bochner lives and works in New York.

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Mel Bochner, Untitled


Mel Bochner
end time: Apr 24, 2014 12:31 PM EST
artnet Auctions
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Mel Bochner, Five Sculptures


Mel Bochner
Five Sculptures

Marc Selwyn Fine Art
Mel Bochner, Go Away


Mel Bochner
Go Away

Marc Selwyn Fine Art
Mel Bochner, Oh Well


Mel Bochner
Oh Well

Marc Selwyn Fine Art
Mel Bochner, Vulgar


Mel Bochner

Marc Selwyn Fine Art
Mel Bochner, Study for Genetic Space


Mel Bochner
Study for Genetic Space

Marc Selwyn Fine Art
Mel Bochner, Kvetch, Kvetch, Kvetch,


Mel Bochner
Kvetch, Kvetch, Kvetch,

Galerie de Bellefeuille
Mel Bochner, Chuckle


Mel Bochner

Galerie de Bellefeuille
Mel Bochner, Chuckle


Mel Bochner

AW Massey Fine Art
Past auction results (234)  View All
Mel Bochner, Vinalhaven


Mel Bochner
Vinalhaven, 1984
oil and enamel on 3 sheets of sized paper


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Mel Bochner, Vortex


Mel Bochner
Vortex, 1985
oil on sized canvas


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Mel Bochner, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH + Background Noise (double-sided)


Mel Bochner
BLAH, BLAH, BLAH + Background Noise (double-sided), 2012
prints and multiples, screenprint


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1940   Born in Pittsburgh, PA, US
1962   Bachelor of Fine Art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, PA
2001   Appointed professor at Yale University, New Haven CT
2005   Recipient, honorary doctor of fine arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University
  Lives and works in New York, NY, US
2014   Jewish Museum, New York, US (solo)
2013   Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (solo)
2013   Fundacao Serralves, Porto, Portugal (solo)
2012   Theory of Sculpture: Fontana's light, Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, US (solo)
2012   If the Colour Changes, Whitechapel Gallery, London, GB (solo)
2011 - 2012   Photography Befor the Age of Mechanical Reproduction + Some Drawings from the Sixties + Recent Refections and Recursions on Dis / Tension and Crumpling, Peter Freeman Inc., New york, USA (solo)
2010 - 2012   In the Tower : Mel Bochner, National Gallery of Art, Washington, US (solo)
2010   Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, US (solo)
2010   Photographs and Not photographs 1966-2010, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, US (solo)
2010   Galerie Nelson-Freeman, Paris, FR (solo)
2010   Third Thoughts, CCA Andratx, Mallorca, Spain
2010   Double Bind / Arrêtez d'essayer de me comprendre!, Villa Arson, Nice, France
2010   “Mel Bochner, Photographs and Not Photographs 1966 – 2010,” Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, CA (solo)
2010   “Mel Bochner,” Galerie Nelson-Freeman, Paris (solo)
2010   “Mel Bochner, New Works,” Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
2009   “Mel Bochner, Blah Blah Blah,” Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
2009   “Mel Bochner,” Metroquadro, Rivoli (solo)
2009   Mel Bochner at The Art Show organized by Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) at the Park Avenue Armory, New York, US
2008   Geometry as image, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, US
2008   “Mel Bochner,” Peter Freeman, Inc., New York (solo)
2008   “Mel Bochner,” Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
2007   “Mel Bochner,” Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Bignan (solo)
2007   “Mel Bochner,” Galerie Nelson-Freeman, Paris (solo)
2007   “Mel Bochner,” Quint Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA (solo)
2007   Dessin et série, Collège Jacques Cartier, Chauny, France
2006   “Mel Bochner: Recent Paintings on Black Velvet,” Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
2006   “Focus: Mel Bochner Language 1966 – 2006,” The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (solo)
2006   “Mel Bochner, Thesaurus Paintings,” Peter Freeman, Inc., New York (solo)
2006   "Mel Bochner: Drawing from Four Decades," Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, MI; Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC
2005   "Looking at Words," Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY
2005   "Dessins de la collection/Drawings from the Collection," Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Quebec
2005   "Building and Breaking the Grid," Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
2005   "OpenSystems: Rethinking Art c.1970," Tate Modern, London, UK
2005   "The Last Picture Show: Artists using Photography, 1960-1982," Miami Art Central, Miami, FL
2005   "Wahlverwandtschaften," Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt/Main
2004   "Visions of America," Sammlung Essl-Kunsthaus, Klosterneuburg
2004   "INTRA-MUROS," Musee d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, Nice
2004   "Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form 1940s−70s," Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
2004   "Schriftbilder/Bilderschrift," Galerie von Bartha, Basel
2004   "The Last Picture Show: Artists Using Photography, 1960-1982," UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
2004   "2004 Whitney Biennial Exhibition," The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
2003   "Fine Lines: Drawings from the Collection of Wynn Kramarsky," Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, CA
2003   "Rien ne presse/Slow and Steady/Festina lente (cinquième épisode)," and "Mel Bochner: Measurement Paintings," Musée d´art moderne et contemporain, Geneva
2003   "The Last Picture Show: Artists Using Photography, 1960-1982," Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
2003   "Game Over," Galerie Grimm/Rosenfeld, Munich
2003   "PRIVATE/CORPORATE II: EIN DIALOG DER SAMMLUNGEN," DaimlerChrysler Contemporary, Berlin
2003   "Selected American Graphic Prints from the Lincoln Center Collection," City Art Museum Ljubljana, Mestna Galerija 1, Ljubljana
2003   "Dust Memories," SI Swiss Institute, New York, NY
2002   "Forum: Mel Bochner Photographs," Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg, PA
2002   "Under Pressure: Prints from Two Palms Press," The University Gallery, Amherst, MA
2002   Akira Ikeda Gallery, Berlin, Germany (Solo)
2001   Akira Ikeda Gallery Nagoya, Japan (Solo)
2001   "Flashing into the Shadows: The Artists Film in America, 1966-76," Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
2001   "Art Express: Art minimal et conceptuel, état d’une collection," Musée d´art moderne et contemporain, Geneva
2001   "Drawing is Another Kind of Language," The Contemporary Museum Honolulu, HI
2000   "Afterimage: Drawing Through Process," Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX
2000   Sonnabend Gallery, New York (Solo)
1999   Centro de Arte Helio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Solo)
1999   "American Academy Invitational Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture," The American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York
1998   "More Pieces for the Puzzle: Recent Additions to the Collection," The Museum of Modern Art, NY
1998   The Drawing Center, New York (Solo)
1998   "The Serial Attitude," Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA
1997   Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Geneva, Switzerland (Solo)
1997   "Gravity-Axis of Contemporary Art," National Museum of Osaka, Japan
1997   "Drawing is Another Kind of Language," Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA
1996   "Thinking Print: Books to Billboards, 1980-1995," The Museum of Modern Art, New York
1996   "The Robert and Jane Meyerhoff Collection: 1945-1995," National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
1995   "1965-1995: Reconsidering the Object of Art," The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
1995   Yale University, New Haven, CT (Solo)
1991   "A View from the 60s: Selections from the Castelli and Sonnabend Collections," Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY
1991   The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH (Solo)
1989   The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD (Solo)
1985   Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA (Solo)
  MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, UK
  Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland
  Städel Museum, Frankfurt/Main, Germamy
  Museet for Samtidskunst / Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde, Denmark
  Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia
  The Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, TX, USA
  Wexner Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
  Musée d´Art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, Canada
  Centre Georges Pompidou - Musée national d’Art moderne, Paris, France
  Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, France
  FRAC - Picardie, Amiens, France
  FRAC – Bretagne, Châteaugiron, France
  FRAC - Bourgogne, Dijon, France
  Tate, London, UK
  Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA, UK
  Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, USA
  University Art Museum University at Albany, State University of New York, NY, USA
  MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA
  Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York, NY, USA
  National Gallery of Art, Washington, WA, USA
  Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  MOCA Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA
  Ball State University Art Gallery, Muncie, IN, USA