Mel Bochner (b. 1940) is an American conceptual artist best known for his text-based paintings. Bochner earned his BFA from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1962. Travelling to New York in 1964, Bochner began working as a guard at the Jewish Museum and settled in the city. Like Eva Hesse, Robert Smithson, and Donald Judd, Bochner experimented with ideas that broke away from the dominant Abstract Expressionism of the early 1960s and developed an ongoing commitment to semiotic representation. His influential critical and theoretical essays on art have figured as a central component to his oeuvre.
In 2004, Bochner's work was exhibited in the Whitney Biennial and was part of OpenSystems: Rethinking Art c. 1970 at London's Tate Modern in 2005. His pieces are held in several major museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2011, a retrospective of his work is being held at the National Gallery of Art. A survey of Mel Bochner's work - entitled Mel Bochner: If the Colour Changes, was held at Whitechapel Gallery, London, Haus der Kunst, Munich and Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto during 2012.
- Other artist-scholars in the collection include Robert Motherwell and Sol LeWitt. Like Bochner, LeWitt is a titan of conceptual art.
- Bochner uses text to spark free associations in the minds of viewers. Fellow conceptual artists Ed Ruscha and Bruce Nauman take similarly incidental approaches to language in their work.