724 NW Davis St.
Mel Bochner: Enough Said from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation
Mel Bochner (b.1940) consistently probes the conventions of painting and language. Bochner’s text-based works will be on view.
From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundations, this body of recent works, 2007-2018, challenge audiences to reflect on the nature and structure of everyday language. Curated by Bruce Guenther, adjunct curator for special exhibitions, the exhibition explores language as image and idea through Bochner’s long-held interest in complex printmaking techniques.
“Bochner’s historic use of language and words as both a linguistic system of inquiry and as a formal visual vocabulary of his painting practice has found new focus in the last decade through the artist’s intense engagement with printmaking and his exploration of the relationships of words as image, text, voice and thinking,” says Guenther. “He plumbs English and Yiddish for language’s power to establish identity, to command respect, or to attack in works of unpredictable emotionality and humor.”
“Mel Bochner is one of the most important conceptual artists of our time. His word art makes us smile, laugh, frown and jeer – but always forces us to think,” says Jordan D. Schnitzer. “He seduces us with emotions, words and phrases that we all have used. Whether we laugh or frown experiencing his art, we are forever moved.”
Born in 1940 to an Orthodox family in Pittsburgh, the artist attended Hebrew school and was exposed to art early through his father, who was a sign painter with a workshop in the family’s basement. Displaying an early talent for drawing, Bochner participated in the Carnegie Museum of Art’s innovative children’s art classes, eventually winning a scholarship to Carnegie Melon University.