Mel Bochner Gets Jewish Museum Show, Was a Bad Jewish Museum Guard

Mel Bochner, ‘Liar,’ 2007. (Courtesy the artist and Peter Freeman, Inc.)

Late last week, Artnet magazine revealed on its Twitter feed that the Jewish Museum was planning a Mel Bochner retrospective. Today, Carol Vogel has the details in her Inside Art column: it’s set to open in May 2014 and “will focus on his thesaurus-inspired paintings — canvases that chart his nearly 50-year exploration of words, language and text.”

Ms. Vogel notes that Mr. Bochner, 72, was once a guard at the Jewish Museum. Not a very good one, as it turns out:

“When he was a guard at the Jewish Museum in New York nearly 50 years ago, Mel Bochner was leading a double life. ‘I would work at the museum all day and paint all night,” he recalled in a telephone interview. ‘I would come to work tired. One day I got caught taking a nap behind a Louise Nevelson sculpture and got fired.'”

Congratulations on the show, Mr. Bochner.