Mel Bochner’s linguistically masterful monoprints are bold and obtrusive. They slam into the art-world like an exploding grenade of letters. Shrapnel and fragments visually pierce the viewers’ psyche with their curved edges. In "Kvetch", 2020, Bochner’s six’ reads left to right in a repetitious pattern of laughing litany. Bochner smears, smoothers, and smudges oil paint into deeply carved Plexiglas plates. These plates act as reverse stencils; the equivalent to filling a trough with water. The paint sits in the recessed holding area, while paper is laid down and covers the colors in the Plexiglass molds. The paper and Plexiglas are positioned on a metal print bed and run through a hydraulic printing press process that applies 750 tons of pressure to the ground and medium; thus transferring the paint to the paper. The handmade paper is pushed deep into the recessed letter molds, resulting in a print plate mark. The letters appear raised on the paper with a letter embossment.
Texturally, these letters have a sculptural quality in their impasto-esque nature. The raised surface of the letters is created when the suction of the paper to the plate is released. The oil paint sticks to the paper and the color peel out of the Plexiglas letter molds.