If you’re in New York City this summer, be sure to visit Scholastic Awards alum Mel Bochner’s show Mel Bochner: Strong Language at the Jewish Museum, up now through September 21. Featuring more than 70 works, this show focuses on the artist’s career-long fascination with the cerebral and visual associations of words.
In 2010, Bochner received our Alumni Achievement Award for his innovative accomplishments as a leading conceptual artist, painter and writer. This show is a great intersection of art and writing, a link we think is very strong. The Jewish Museum adds that “The use of words as sources for painting stems from Bochner’s interest in philosophy on the one hand and humor and popular culture on the other. Bochner’s use of the Thesaurus was pursued with increasing interest following the release of its latest edition, in 2001. Using a variety of techniques—paint on canvas and velvet, drawing, printmaking, wall installations—the paintings riff on words and meanings in countless permutations. For Bochner, the thesaurus is “a warehouse for words”—a mine of readymade text for his billboard-like pictures. Bochner uses word games, incongruities, and even visual slapstick to draw the viewer into linguistic, phenomenological, and social puzzles.”
We hope you get a chance to see this fun show, and if you do, leave a comment and let us know what you thought!