WEEK 3: SOMEONE WHOSE WORK I HATE

MEL BOCHNER

Alright, I’ll say it, I hate Mel Bochner’s art. While looking up what felt like a million artists from my “Awesome Artists” list I typed in his name and received picture after picture of letters, words, and other language (none of which caught my fancy).

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Mel Bochner is apparently one of the pioneers of American conceptual art. I had to make sure and I was correct in assuming it is “art in which the concept(s) or idea(s) involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns.”   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conceptual_art

I understand the point of this art in which the concept is most important aspect and I really do respect it but in this case I think he does not do a good job. Not far into my google search for this artist I came across the most perfect critic by Adrian Searle that sums up many of the things I could not find words for or had not yet realized about Mr. Bochner. There are several good points he brings to focus:

“He is a paradox: a leading American old-school conceptualist, a lover of words and ideas and colour and a painter who seems, at times, to hate the stuff.”

“He believes painting can say something, but what his have to say is almost not worth listening to.”  http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/oct/11/mel-bochner-whitechapel-gallery-review

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He has worked with many different materials: photographs, spray painted newspapers, written words on file cards, shapes on walls, canvases, binders on pedestals, oil on velvet, chalk on floor, and painting after painting. In Silence he uses words like “Silence! Be quiet! Gag it! Just shut the fuck up!” and the piece itself is more smeared than others and uses less lovely colors. I get that he is using materials to get across the words he uses but I am just so not into it. Boring. 

Language is great and beautiful. Art is great and beautiful. Unless it is in a beautiful or elegant script I don’t care for common words being the art themselves. I want to see art and be shocked or transformed or questioned or feel something! His uncreative words on painted on a canvas with colors and fonts that remind me of elementary school are nothing more than boring. I do not care to read further into them and don’t think I will. 

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http://www.artnet.com/artists/mel-bochner/

http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/bochnertowerinfo.shtm

http://www.google.com/search?q=mel+bochner+silence&client=safari&rls=en&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=QDr0Us30J6mqyAH5uoDgDQ&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1353&bih=707#q=mel+bochner+art&rls=en&tbm=isch&imgdii=_

http://radicalart.info/nothing/concept/rien/index.html

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