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Bochner at MoMA: Three Ideas and Seven Procedures

THERE WAS A TIME WHEN ART meant painting and sculpture and the acquisition of the techniques necessary to realize these ends required a set of “how-tos”: how to mix colors, how to apply pigment to a surface, how to build an armature, etc. In the last three years, at least, it is clear that the techniques of art have been revised to become not so much studies in methodology as of research into what constitutes the elemental features of any particular situation. In my view the methodologies necessary to the artist are now art history and philosophy—the one to know where to begin, the other to know what to do. The methodologies then pose a set of questions, which in a certain sense, have never been raised before, at least not in the sense that the questions themselves constituted both answer and art.

The evolution of Mel Bochner’s work, these past three years particularly, indicates that the

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