The Menil Drawing Institute’s Wall Drawing Series presents Smudge, 1968/2022, a new blue powder pigment drawing by Conceptual American artist Mel Bochner (b. 1940). Bochner once wrote on how the first pieces he ever made directly on the wall utilized blue raw pigment—a dry carpenter’s chalk. As he rubbed the dry pigment into the wall, an image began to emerge, a “smudge,” roughly traced by the arc of his arm’s reach. “The film of color, inseparable from the wall itself, had no discernable thickness,” Bochner wrote. “It was emphatically visual, yet perceptually dislocated, seeming to float just slightly in front of the spatialized whiteness of the wall.”
Wall Drawing Series: Mel Bochner is curated by Edouard Kopp, Chief Curator, Menil Drawing Institute. This is the fourth installment in the Menil Collection’s Wall Drawing Series, which began in 2018 as part of the institute’s commitment to seeking new approaches to the form and language of drawing.