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

Tom Sachs

at Noguchi Museum,
through Jul. 24
9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City

“Art for Every Home: Associated American Artists, 1934–2000”

at Grey Art Gallery,
through Jul. 9
100 Washington Square East

Raul de Nieves

at Company,
through Jul. 24
88 Eldridge Street, 5th Floor

Closing

Terence Koh

at Andrew Edlin,
through Jul. 1
212 Bowery

“The 1970s: The Blossoming of a Queer Enlightenment”

at Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art,
through Jul. 3
26 Wooster Street

Martha Rosler

at Mitchell-Innes & Nash,
through Jul. 9
534 West 26th Street

S.J. “Kitty” Moodley

at Walther Collection Project Space,
through Sept. 3
526 West 26th Street

Closing

Mary Ellen Mark

at Aperture Foundation,
through Jun. 30
547 West 27th Street, 4th floor

Closing

Joanne Greenbaum

at Rachel Uffner,
through Jul. 1
170 Suffolk Street

Sadie Benning

at Callicoon Fine Arts and Mary Boone Gallery,
through Jul. 29
49 Delancey Street and 745 Fifth Avenue

Arlene Shechet

at Frick Collection,
through May 28
1 East 70th Street

Stephen Westfall

at Lennon, Weinberg, Inc.,
through Jul. 29
514 West 25th Street

Closing

Kirk Mangus

at James Cohan,
through Jun. 26
291 Grand Street

“The Folk Art Collection of Elie and Viola Nadelman”

at the New-York Historical Society,
through Aug. 21
170 Central Park West

Alicja Kwade

at 303,
through Jul. 14
555 West 21st Street

Philip Guston

at Hauser & Wirth,
through Jul. 29
511 West 18th Street

Cao Fei

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

Robert Ryman

at Dia:Chelsea,
through Jul. 31
535 West 22nd Street

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