Mel Bochner / Artist

Above Image – Nothing, 2006, Oil on Velvet. Image Source.


Born 1940, Mel Bochner is an American Conceptual Artist, and a prominent figure in Text Based Art.

I have found Bochner’s text paintings really interesting how he gives attitude to the words. He’s visually give them personality, and shows how it is said through the way he paints the word. For example the first blah painting below on the left is very draining, the paint dripping and constant repetition, really gives it a very exhausting feeling. The second blah painting below on the right is very built up, the words overlap each other in a panicking manner; it looks quite obsessive, and it’s give the piece narrative of someone talking quickly and fast. This sort of narrative creating is seen in most of Bochner’s works.


It’s really interesting how the some of the pieces are very raw; like the piece below. I assume it his his handwriting, but it looks quite rushed but retains a high art quality, which I put down to the choice of words; a very important aspect to me in my work is using the correct words for the context, which I believe Mel Bochner has done. It’s really great how he’s made a self-portrait with words (below), very innovative. From seeing these works, I want to experiment with paint and text as Bochner has done it so well, It’s a really suitable material for text art and clearly produces interesting work.

Self-portrait, 2003. Image source.

Mel Bochner –


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