Collector Box

#7 Mel Bochner

The Laughing Cow® is the Pop art incarnation of the Mona Lisa.
Mel Bochner, 2020

2020

Mel Bochner – Collector Box #7

 

The Collector’s Edition Boxes: Sharing Contemporary Art

The Laughing Cow® cheese is a symbol of smiles, happiness and sharing, but it also represents an incredible history of creativity and innovation. For this reason, and in preparation of the celebration of its 100th anniversary in 2021, The Laughing Cow® together with Lab’Bel, the Artistic Laboratory of the Bel Group, has launched a remarkable series of collaborations, enlisting important contemporary artists to create its exceptional Collector’s Edition Box series. Released each fall, these offerings renew the special rapport that has always existed between the brand and artists, some of whom werewhere directly solicited by it, while others have merely used it as a source of inspiration.

In the eyes of the artists who create them, the Collector’s Edition Boxes are full-fledged works of art. Each box offers purchasers a choice: to consume the contents, or to keep it intact as a collectible artwork. By jostling the logic of how contemporary art is perceived, as well as its modes of diffusion and its market – with its annual edition at a very affordable price – this playful contemporary art offering epitomizes the philosophy Lab’Bel has espoused since its creation in 2010.

Mel Bochner was born in 1940 in Pittsburgh (USA). He is recognized as one of the leading figures in the development of Conceptual art in New York in the 1960s and 1970s.

Mel Bochner’s works feature in collections around the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago to the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

He’s represented by Peter Freeman, Inc. (New-York/Paris)

« I am interested in translation from the verbal to the visual. What is the difference between looking at a painting and reading it? »

Mel Bochner

Once Mel Bochner responded positively to the invitation to participate in the Collector’s Edition Box, he immediately showed up on Skype with a Laughing Cow® vintage mug he had bought in the 1990s in Tribeca’s flea market and said: “The Laughing Cow® is the Pop art incarnation of the Mona Lisa.” Each time he was using his mug, it reminded him of how enigmatic the smile was. Mel Bochner’s design for the Collector’s Edition Box focuses on the enigmatic laughing and its various ways of appearing and signifying. He removed entirely the background, the landscape, the sky and the stripes to emphasize the already existing famous cow head and the title La Vache qui rit© (The Laughing Cow®). To this, he added HA HA HA HA HA—the onomatopoeia for laughing— and scattered them all over the field of representation in different sizes, extending some HA almost beyond the surface’s edges.

He produced two versions of the box: one with a blue cow on a red background and the other with a red cow on a blue background. These different expressions of laughter – visual and textual – each carry different meanings which, if they can be said to be synonymous, are in no way identical. This multiplicity also implies to question the origin and the intention of this laughter. For indeed, who laughs at what, why and how?

Mel Bochner is one of the first artists to develop a practice identified as conceptual. Using painting, drawing, architectural contexts, sculpture and photography, his process-based practice questions the always uncertain relations between the world and the way we understand, experience and represent it. Mel Bochner was born in Pittsburgh in 1940 and lives in New York. He has exhibited at the Dia:Beacon, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, Jewish Museum in New York, Yale University Art Gallery in New Heaven Haven, National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Tate Modern and Whitechapel Gallery in London, and Haus Der Kunst in Munich.

The Collector’s Edition Box by Mel Bochner for Lab’Bel by Sébastien Pluot, associate curator for the 2020 edition.

Where can you find the 7th Collector’s Edition Box of The Laughing Cow®?

– from 16th  October, sale of the Collector’s Edition Box at The House of The Laughing Cow in Lons-le-Saunier (www.lamaisondelavachequirit.com) and online, via: boutique.lavachequirit.com while stocks last.

 – from 17 to 28 November, on sale in a selection of E. Leclerc supermarkets all over France

– from 18 to 22 November, on sale in the pop-up gallery in the Marais, at number 5 rue des Blancs Manteaux, from 10am to 8pm. Late-night opening 18 & 21 until 9pm.

 *Access to the pop-up gallery in adherence with the current sanitary measures.