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Head Honcho by Mel Bochner

Head Honcho by Mel Bochner
(Image © Galerie Maximillian)

There is a seriously, jaw-droppingly, fab’ art gallery in Aspen (as in Colorado) that goes by the name of Galerie Maximillian. The team there prides itself on being passionate about art and wanting the experience of collecting fine art to be fun as well as informative.

I happen to be on the gallery’s mailing list and recently received word of some new Mel Bochner arrivals. I don’t know very much about American art, but I know that I love Mel Bochner’s recent works AND I love to dream…

Amazing by Mel Bochner

Amazing by Mel Bochner
(Image © Galerie Maximillian)

Blah, Blah, Blah by Mel Bochner

Blah, Blah, Blah by Mel Bochner
(Image © Galerie Maximillian)

Obscene by Mel Bochner

Obscene by Mel Bochner
(Image © Galerie Maximillian)

For the uninitiated, Mel Bochner is one of the pioneers of Conceptual Art. He has helped to develop many of the techniques used by the Conceptual and Installation artists who followed him into the art world. In 1962, he graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in New York, where he had studied Art. Bochner went on to study Philosophy for a short time at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.

In Bochner’s own words, “Whether in the public or the private domain, my recent work attempts to confront the ideologies and hidden agendas of language. Because as recent history has painfully taught us, all abuses of power begin with the abuse of language.” 

The works in this particular show contains groups of words, synonyms – starting with the simplest related words, and eventually de-evolving to vulgar phrases and colloquialisms. The path from a single word to a roll-call of the vernacular reflects the discrepancy between ‘objective’, lexical meaning and the perception of a ‘subjective’ individual. The chalky, all-cap lettering “speaks” the text while the wet-on-wet ground threatens to drown it out, further contributing to an overall sense of a communication breakdown.

Bochner lives and works in New York.

If you’d like to check out more of Mel Bochner’s work, or see more of Galerie Maximillian’s stockroom (which includes works by Damien Hirst, Anish Kapoor and Murakami), you can check it out here.

Galerie Maximillian can be found at 602 East Cooper Avenue, Aspen, Colorado 81611. If you happen to be visiting Aspen, I recommend a visit.

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