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Sixteen Isomorphs (Negative)

A work made of gelatin silver prints mounted on board.
© 2008 Mel Bochner.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver prints mounted on board.




Mel Bochner
American, born 1940

About this artwork

Since the 1960s, pioneering Conceptual artist Mel Bochner has produced a diverse and compelling body of work preoccupied with the gap between an idea and its material manifestation. By 1967 he had turned to photography to record time-based conceptual processes. In this work, the artist photographed rows of cubes from an angle and made negative prints. Bochner then cut them into quadrants and installed them in a random order. The term isomorph in the title refers to the equal areas of black and white in each image and in the composition as a whole. The final grouping of 16 Isomorphs (Negative) shows how Bochner could transform a single photograph of building blocks into a galaxy of nonexistent spaces.


Currently Off View


Contemporary Art


Mel Bochner


Sixteen Isomorphs (Negative)


United States (Artist's nationality)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Gelatin silver prints mounted on board


49.5 × 49.5 cm (19 5/8 × 19 9/16 in.); Installed: 226.1 × 355.6 cm (89 1/16 × 140 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mary and Leigh Block; purchased with funds provided by Focus/Infinity, Mr. and Mrs. H. George Mann, and David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg; Photography Associates Fund

Reference Number



© 2008 Mel Bochner.

Extended information about this artwork

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