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

Willem de Rooij

at Petzel,
through May 2
456 West 18th Street

Closing

James Siena

at Pace Gallery,
through Apr. 25
508 West 25th Street

Closing

Caitlin Keogh

at Mary Boone,
through Apr. 25
745 Fifth Avenue

“Life of Cats: Selections from the Hiraki Ukiyo-e Collection”

at Japan Society,
through Jun. 7
333 East 47th Street

Jamie Isenstein

at Andrew Kreps,
through May 2
537 West 22nd Street

Alma Thomas

at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery,
through May 16
100 Eleventh Avenue

Lutz Bacher

at Greene Naftali,
through May 9
508 West 26th Street, ground floor and 8th floor

Caleb Considine

at Bureau,
through May 3
178 Norfolk Street

“Masterpieces and Curiosities: Nicole Eisenman’s Seder”

at Jewish Museum,
through Aug. 9
1109 Fifth Avenue

“Work Hard: Selections by Valentin Carron”

at Swiss Institute,
through May 24
18 Wooster Street

Tony Conrad, Senga Nengudi, Toshiko Takaezu

at Essex Street,
through Apr. 26
114 Eldridge Street

“Irreverent: A Celebration of Censorship”

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

Closing

Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch

at Andrea Rosen Gallery,
through Apr. 25
525 West 24th Street

New Museum Triennial

at New Museum,
through May 24
235 Bowery

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