Art In America

Mel Bochner

at Jewish Museum,
1109 Fifth Ave.

Mel Bochner has a penchant for word games. For the past decade or so he has been making paintings that resemble brightly colored thesaurus entries. Lists of synonyms ("Amazing! Awesome! Breathtaking! . . .") are rendered in block letters against vibrant backgrounds. Though most of the work on view here dates from the last two decades, a through line is established to Bochner's Conceptual work of the 1960s, in part through the re-creation of a 1970 work for which he scrawled the phrase "Language is Not Transparent" in a field of drippy black paint applied directly to the gallery wall. Bochner's paintings are cerebral—students of Wittgenstein would have a field day—but the artist seems equally concerned with creating richly textured surfaces and complex color combinations that span nearly the entire visible spectrum. The act of viewing encompasses both reading and looking, as the painterly qualities of Bochner's work suggest a sensual ground for thought.

 

 

More from the Lookout

Nancy Rubins

at Gagosian,
through Sept. 13
522 W. 21st St.

“Here and Elsewhere”

at New Museum,
through Sept. 28
235 Bowery

Closing

Zhang Dali

at Klein Sun Gallery,
through Aug. 30
525 W. 22nd St.

Closing

Joan Mitchell

at Cheim & Read,
through Aug. 29
547 W 25th St

Danh Vo

at Public Art Fund,
through Dec. 5
Brooklyn Bridge Park and City Hall Park

“Oil and Water: Reinterpreting Ink”

at Museum of Chinese in America,
through Sept. 14
215 Centre St.

Closing

Christoph Schlingensief

at MoMA PS1,
through Aug. 31
22-25 Jackson Ave., Queens

Submit your e-mail to receive insider information from the art world every week.