The History of Mel Bochner Monoprints
Mel Bochner monoprints became a staple in the artists career in 1994. He was originally drawn to the medium because of the embossing possibilities that it provides. In Mel Bochner’s monoprints the unpredictability of the end product in contrast with the quite careful and scientific way that his plates are cut were what the artist became fascinated about. Firstly, Bochner is working within the confines of the page and the line. There are only so many characters that can fit on a given line, and this is the baseline constraint when setting up his synonyms. Once this is tackled, rearranging begins based on the feel and look of the words next to one another. Generally there is a directionality to the words, becoming more intense or vulgar in tone as they proceed across and down the page. Finally, once the Plexiglas stencil has been cut, Bochner lays it over the pre-dyed paper to discuss coloring. At times Bochner chooses to use color to affirm the words, and at other times he chooses deliberately to ignore color systems and paints with no discernable pattern. To achieve total randomization, Bochner will ask his assistants to pick colors. Instead of letting go of the reins of the artistic process, Bochner sees this as a way of opening himself up to new possibilities and ways of looking at his art – always a valuable skill. To this day, Mel Bochner monoprints are his most sought after works selling in the tremendous international market, Asia, North America, Europe and beyond.