For Surface Dis/Tension: Offset (RB)—part of a group of photobased works Bochner made between 1966 and 1968—the artist soaked a photograph of a grid in water then peeled off its top layer, dried it, and rephotographed it. That final photograph was the source for this lithograph, which was printed in a “rainbow roll” of colored ink. This experimentation with spatial distortion and the photograph’s surface grew out of pictures Bochner had begun taking in his studio to document his ephemeral installations of serially arranged blocks. He made this lithograph with Experiments in Art and Technology, an organization that encouraged collaboration between artists and scientists; it is one of his first experiments with color. Bochner was a pioneer of Post-Minimal and Conceptual art, with works ranging from site-specific installations and language-based wall pieces to drawings, prints, and paintings combining theoretical and formal interests. This early and rarely exhibited work is the first example of the artist's photographic manipulations to enter the collection.
Gallery label from New to the Print Collection: Matisse to Bourgeois, June 13, 2012–January 7, 2013.