Mel Bochner, Obvious, 2019

Artist: Mel Bochner (1940 - )
Title:Obvious, 2019
Medium:Monoprint in oil paint with collage, engraving and embossment on hand-dyed Twinrocker handmade paper
Image:30 in x 28 1/2 in (76.2 cm x 72.4 cm)
Sheet:30 in x 28 1/2 in (76.2 cm x 72.4 cm)
Edition:A unique and original monoprint in oil paint
Signature:This work is hand-signed by Mel Bochner (Pittsburgh, 1940 - ) in pencil.
Condition:This work is in excellent condition.
ID #W-6601
Price on Request

Historical Description

Mel Bochner Obvious, 2019 is a vivid exploration of language, typography, color and form. The subject matter of this conceptual piece is text which fills the image entirely. While this subject matter is immediately evident by way of the rounded and uniform type, the text itself takes a moment to read. Across nine horizontal lines the words are sprawled: “OBVIOUS, SELF-| EVIDENT, GLA-| RING, BLATANT, | CLEAR AS DAY, | PLAIN AS THE | NOISE ON YOUR | FACE, DO I HAVE | TO PAINT YOU A | PICTURE? DUH!” Bochner consulted his favorite source Roget’s Thesaurus to choose the sequence of related words and phrases which appear in this image in thickly applied oil paint set against a patchwork collage of polychrome hand-dyed and handmade paper. The structure and punctuation of the text combined with the striking square composition lends a sense of rhythm that is both visual and sonant.

Each letter of every word is represented in a different hue or shade from the precedent and antecedent letter within the line, with some letters almost blending in to the multicolored background.  The viewer is struck by a need to reconcile the meaning of the artwork. By doing this, the subject is obscured, and therefore the text is less legible. We are forced to look harder to decode the significance, or to abandon the obvious literal definitions and embrace the Mel Bochner Obvious, 2019 for its visual merits alone.

Created in 2019, this monoprint with collage, engraving and embossment on hand-dyed Twinrocker handmade paper is hand-signed and dated by Mel Bochner in pencil. Mel Bochner Obvious, 2019 is a unique and original work.

Catalogue Raisonné & COA:

1. Bochner, Mel. Monoprints: Mel Bochner: Words, Words, Words…New York: Two Palms, 2012. General information on Mel Bochner’s unique monoprints is discussed on pages 63-65.

2. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany this artwork.

About the Framing:

Framed to museum-grade, conservation standards, Mel Bochner Obvious, 2019 is presented in a complementary moulding.

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