Mel Bochner BFA ’62 Exhibits “Language Is Not Transparent [Brussels, 2017] at Gladstone Gallery in Brussels
“Language Is Not Transparent [Brussels, 2017]” is Mel Bochner’s first solo show with the gallery and his first exhibition in Brussels for more than 20 years. The exhibition takes its name from one of the artist’s most seminal works first shown at the Dwan Gallery in 1970. Bochner intends for this new iteration to premiere within Belgium’s bilingual context: translated into Flemish and French for the first time, this version adds new interpretations and layers of complexity to Bochner’s Conceptualist practice.
“Language Is Not Transparent [Brussels, 2017]” consists of three black rectangles painted directly onto the wall, reappropriating the Renaissance fresco technique of sinopia. In his decision to work directly on the wall, the artist’s hand is clearly visible, via handwritten text in English, French and Flemish, scribbles of white chalk and uneven brushstrokes leaving drops of black paint that almost hit the floor.