The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, August 16, 2022


Exhibition at TOTAH features eleven new works by Mel Bochner
Mel Bochner, I Forget What I Forgot, 2021. Monoprint in three parts in oil with collage, engraving and embossment on handmade paper, 60 × 60 inches (152.40 × 152.40 cm).



NEW YORK, NY.- TOTAH presents I STILL DON'T GET IT, featuring eleven new works by Mel Bochner, on view from February 10th, 2022 through April 16th, 2022. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, following the duo Bochner/Boetti inaugural exhibition at TOTAH in 2016. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by Christopher Bollen.

These are works of visual art, but I think of the words that form them as analytical objects – to be shuffled, rearranged, and piled up.

The gradual deviation of meaning from word to word, from word to phrase, from phrase to phrase makes it appear as if there was some governing logic being sought, but never found.

In the process of being made, the text often becomes smudged, sometimes illegible, language becomes gibberish. Alliteration and dissonance in both word and color compromise clarity and camouflage any suggestion of resolution.

Emotionally leveled out by the corrosive effects of color and surface, they are indifferent to meaning, reference, or politeness. Strident or passive, sober or silly, obscene, scatological, hostile, aggressive… but always in a voice without intonation.

These works reflect and parody the void that the information overload - TV, movies, computers, internet, social media, streaming services - has opened up. With the daily
redefinition of truth -"When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean.” - we have descended into the dark, topsy-turvy world of Alice in Wonderland."

- Mel Bochner

Mel Bochner (born in Pittsbugh, PA, 1940) is considered a pioneer of the Post-Minimal and Conceptual art movements. Bochner is best known for his exploration of connections between language, perception and meaning. He will be the subject of a forthcoming retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago, drawing from the museum's significant collection of Bochner works. His works can be found in collections around the world including the MOCA in Los Angeles, the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris as well as the Whitney Museum of American Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York.










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February 10, 2022

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