Master of the Universe, Mel Bochner’s latest exploration of his iconic Thesaurus works, shows the artist achieving unprecedented physicality and material experimentation. Utilizing techniques developed at Two Palms, each work in this new series is rendered entirely as one piece of cast and pigmented paper, the text jutting out toward the viewer. Depth is achieved by densely packing layers of paper pulp into a mold over the course of several weeks. When viewed from an angle, the layering gives the appearance of striations similar to those in metamorphic rock, creating a paradox between the appearance of heaviness and the lightness of material.
Every piece in this series features the same text. Master of the Universe, Top Dog, Head Honcho. Rendered entirely in shades of black and white, the sculptural form of these works shine without the overwhelming impact of color. The repetition of text and the tonality of the colors creates a quietness that invites the viewer to focus closely on light and shadow.