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"I see, hear, and feel a living, breathing, drooling, sneezing, pissing painter and writer—a terribly sympathetic protagonist priming his canvas as he feeds a fresh sheet of paper into the typewriter, continuing to explore something tangible yet intangible…searching for something  out beyond zilch."

— Jeremy Sigler [1]

 

 

Peter Freeman, Inc., is pleased to present the newest paintings by Mel Bochner, who has had one-person shows at the most prestigious museums, from The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., to Haus der Kunst in Munich. On view for the first time, these text-based works pulse with a strong vein of irony and humor. Words and phrases spill, drip, and accumulate to the point of obliterating themselves in palimpsests of illegibility, across compact surfaces of canvas. Juxtapositions of bright colors play off each other and amplify the visual impact of Bochner’s investigation of language.

A perfect foil to the virtual, through their insistence on the body and the senses, Bochner’s paintings transcend the screen, reminding the viewer of the physical, emotional, intellectual, and at times embarrassing joy of encountering art in real life.

The paintings are available to view at Peter Freeman, Inc., 140 Grand Street, New York 10013 for the duration of Art Basel Miami Beach’s Online Viewing Room. Also, concurrently on long-term view at Dia:Beacon is Bochner’s latest Measurement room, installed on the 50th anniversary of his first Measurement room at Heiner Friedrich’s gallery in Munich. At the neighboring Maggazino Italian Art in Cold Spring, New York, through 11 January 2021, is an installation of Bochner’s works alongside those of Italian artists Alighiero Boetti and Lucio Fontana, which examines parallel artistic movements in the 1960s and 1970s in the U.S. and Italy. 

Mel Bochner was born in Pittsburgh in 1940. He studied painting and philosophy, earned his BFA from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1962, and moved to New York City in 1964, where he continues to live and work. Upon moving to New York, Bochner was hired to write monthly reviews for Arts Magazine. His very first exhibition, in 1966 at the School of Visual Arts, Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to be Viewed as Art, is often cited as the first exhibition of conceptual art. In 1976, ten years after his SVA debut, Peter Freeman invited him to make the cover for the Harvard University campus literary magazine. Thirty years later, in 2006, Bochner joined Peter Freeman, Inc. and has mounted eight solo exhibitions at the gallery since then. Bochner has long explored the limits of language, reproduction, and repetition. Speaking to The Brooklyn Rail’s Phong Bui, at the time of his first PFI exhibition, Bochner commented on how people ‘read’ his text paintings and gave the following insight into his larger relationship with language: “a work of art lives by being continuously misinterpreted.”  Mel Bochner’s work is included in many public collections around the world, including Art Institute of Chicago; Tate, London; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and Centre Pompidou, Paris.

 

[1] Jeremy Sigler, "Zilch," in Mel Bochner: Voices (New York: Peter Freeman, Inc., 2017), p. 10

 

 

Concurrently on view:

Measurement Room: No Vantage Point, Dia Beacon

Bochner Boetti Fontana, Magazzino Italian Art
Curated by Mel Bochner in collaboration with Magazzino

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Cezanne Said-with caption


MEL BOCHNER

 

Cezanne Said
2016
oil on canvas
36 x 48 inches
  (91.4 x 121.9 cm)
PF4340


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Cezanne Said - scale
Cezanne Said-side
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BLAH-full image + caption

 

 

MEL BOCHNER

 

BLAH
2017
oil on canvas
40 x 30 inches
  (101.6 x 76.2 cm)
PF5939

 

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Zilch - zilch


 

 

MEL BOCHNER

 

Zilch
2020
oil on canvas
30 x 24 inches
  (76.2 x 61 cm)
PF5940



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Zilch-installation view
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Ha Ha - yellow

MEL BOCHNER

 

 

Ha Ha
2020
oil on canvas
14 x 11 inches
(35.6 x 27.9 cm)
PF5941



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Ha Ha - side scale
thin line 1 pt-c
Obliterate scale
Obliterate-side scale



MEL BOCHNER

 

Obliterate
2019
oil on canvas
60 x 45 inches
(152.4 x 114.3 cm)
PF5700

 

 

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install
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BOZO-caption

MEL BOCHNER

 

BOZO
2020
oil on canvas
48 x 36 inches
(121.9 x 91.4 cm)
PF5942



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BOZO-side and scale
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Ha

 


MEL BOCHNER

 

Ha
2020
oil on canvas
14 x 11 inches
  (35.6 x 27.9 cm)
PF5944
 

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Ha-side scale
thin line 1 pt
Fat Head

 

MEL BOCHNER

 

 

Fat Head
2020
oil on canvas
14 x 11 inches
(35.6 x 27.9 cm)
PF5943



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Fat Head - side and scale
thin line 1 pt-b
Kick

MEL BOCHNER


Kick Against The Pricks
2020
oil on canvas
30 x 24 inches
(76.2 x 61 cm)
PF5945

 

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Kick-side
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SHIT FOR BRAINS

MEL BOCHNER

 

Shit for Brains
2020
oil on canvas
14 x 11 inches
(35.6 x 27.9 cm)
PF5946




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prick-caption

 

 

MEL BOCHNER
 

Kick Against The Pricks
2018
oil on canvas
30 x 24 inches
(76.2 x 61 cm)
PF5948



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pricks - side scale
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Ha Ha

 

MEL BOCHNER

 

Ha Ha
2020
oil on canvas
14 x 11 inches
  (35.6 x 27.9 cm)
PF5947

 

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Ha Ha - side-scale
line
Irritate

 

MEL BOCHNER

 

Irritate
2019
oil on canvas
36 x 48 inches
  (91.4 x 121.9 cm)
PF5952

 

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Irritate - side-scale
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Voices

 

Mel Bochner: Voices 

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Mel Bochner: Voices
Peter Freeman, Inc., New York, 2017

Text by Jeremy Sigler

Distributed by Yale University Press

Hardcover 
96 pages

ISBN: 978-0-300-23035-2

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