BLAH BLAH BLAH: Mel Bochner In His Own Words

Mel Bochner is recognized as one of the leading figures in the development
of Conceptual art in New York in the 1960s and 1970s. Emerging at a time
when painting was increasingly discussed as outmoded, Bochner became
part of a new generation of artists which also included Eva Hesse, Donald
Judd, and Robert Smithson – artists who, like Bochner, were looking at ways
of breaking with Abstract Expressionism and traditional compositional
devices. His pioneering introduction of the use of language in the visual, led
Harvard University art historian Benjamin Buchloh to describe his 1966
Working Drawings as ‘probably the first truly conceptual exhibition.’

Bochner came of age during the second half of the 1960s, a moment of
radical change both in society at large as well as in art. While painting
slowly lost its preeminent position in modern art, language moved from
talking about art to becoming part of art itself. Bochner has consistently
probed the conventions of both painting and of language, the way we
construct and understand them, and the way they relate to one another to
make us more attentive to the unspoken codes that underpin our
engagement with the world.

– Mel Bochner: If The Color Changes