Skip to content
212 966 5154 / fax: 212 966 5349

exhibition: Mel Bochner: Photography Before the Age of Mechanical Reproduction +
Some Drawings from the Sixties + Recent Reflections and Recursions on
Dis/Tension and Crumpling

date: 17 November 2011 – 28 January 2012

Peter Freeman, Inc. is pleased to present an exhibition of new photographic works and related
historical drawings by Mel Bochner. One of the founders of Conceptual Art, Bochner began his
investigation of photography during the 1960s. All the works in this exhibition have the common
theme of exploring photography as process, idea and object.

For Photography Before the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (2011), Bochner used six different
19th-century photographic techniques to print the same image of an index card on which he
wrote a quote from the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Photography cannot record abstract ideas.”
The quote is one of nine he collected on index cards as part of Misunderstandings (A Theory of
Photography) (1967-70).

Surface Dis/Tension (Recursion) (1968 / 2010) is made from a 1967 photograph, Perspective:
One Point (Positive)
, of a grid made with black tape on a tabletop that Bochner had shot by a
professional photographer from a 45-degree angle. The resulting photograph showed this
“perfect” grid subtly distorted by the curve of the camera lens–the “real” changed by the process
of photography itself. The image was then distorted further using various methods, rephotographed,
enlarged, and mounted on board in 1968. In this exhibition, the same image has
been enlarged again to roughly a six-foot square, but in this new work, is mounted on aluminum
and split into a sixteen-part grid.

The Color Crumple (1967 / 2011) works–conceived in 1967 but unable to be technically realized
until recently–are enlarged, silhouetted prints of a one-point perspective grid crumpled and rephotographed.
Richly colored, these eight-foot high works are mounted on aluminum and float
from the wall, giving the works a sculptural quality.

Concurrent with this exhibition is In the Tower: Mel Bochner at the National Gallery of Art in
Washington, D.C. (through 8 April 2012). In 2012-13 there will be a major retrospective of
Bochner’s work organized by Whitechapel Gallery (London), the Museù Serralves (Porto) and
the Haus der Kunst (Munich).

A reception for the artist will be held on Tuesday, 22 November from 6 to 8 pm.

For reproduction requests or general inquiries, please contact the gallery at 212-966-5154 or