TWO PALMS will present a newly created site-specific Measurement: 24’ by Mel Bochner (1940, USA), marking the 50th anniversary of the artist’s first Measurement Room from 1969.
Curated by Tim Goossens
TWO PALMS, New York, NY
Recognized as one of the leading figures in the development of Conceptual Art in New York in the 1960-70s, Bochner pioneered the play between the characteristics of numerical values, space, and language in his work. This presentation comes on the eve of a newly commissioned large-scale Measurement Room exhibition at Dia:Beacon in Fall 2019.In May 1969, Bochner realized the first works in his ongoing Measurement series, using black tape to draw simple, linear segments across the surfaces of Heiner Friedrich’s Munich gallery. Punctuating these lines were numbers that corresponded to the length of the measured surface: the width of a window bay, the height of a doorframe, and so on. Several of the measurements were further subdivided, indicated by notched marks interspersed at intervals across a wall. In this work, as in subsequent iterations of the series, Bochner used lines to wrap around the architectural envelope of the gallery space in a systematic evaluation of its spatial parameters and the perceptual experience that unfolds within it.
At the fair, Bochner will install the measurement piece on a 24-foot project wall. The work is comprised of a group of silkscreens mounted on aluminum, lined up seamlessly at different heights along the wall. Running through the silkscreens is a white line with the length of the wall indicated in the center.Image credit: Mel Bochner, Measurement: Room, 1969, installation view, Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Munich, 1969. Collection Museum of Modern Art, New York. (c) Mel Bochner. Courtesy the Artist.
Mel Bochner is an American Conceptual artist best known for his text-based paintings. Bochner’s popular thesaurus painting series consists of lists of synonyms displayed in rainbow-colored palettes, often featuring a single word repeated in painterly capital letters, as seen in his seminal piece Blah, Blah, Blah (2008). “My feeling was that there were ways of extending, or re-inventing visual experience, but that it was very important that it remain visual,” he reflected on introducing text into his work. “The viewer should enter the idea through a visual or phenomenological experience rather than simply reading it.” Born in 1940 in Pittsburgh, PA, he earned his BFA from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1962. Travelling to New York in 1964, Bochner began working as a guard at the Jewish Museum and settled in the city. Like Eva Hesse, Robert Smithson, and Donald Judd, Bochner experimented with ideas that broke away from the dominate Abstract Expressionism of the early 1960s and developed an ongoing commitment to semiotic representation. His influential critical and theoretical essays on art have figured as a central component to his oeuvre. The artist continues to live and work in New York, NY. Bochner’s works are included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., among others.