One of the most renowned and influential artists to emerge from the Los Angeles art scene of the 1960s, Larry Bell is known foremost for his refined surface treatment of glass and his explorations of light, reflection, and shadow. In search of solitude, Bell traveled from New York through the American Midwest, moving to Taos, New Mexico in 1973. His experimentations with commercial industrial processes with high-vacuum coating systems and his interests in the optical qualities of glass led him to make work that investigates multiple ways of using light as a material.
His move to New Mexico in the early 1970s furthered the evolution of Bell's practice: his deconstructions of the six-sided cube allowed Bell to make large scale art on his own terms. A group of historical maquettes on view establish a dialogue between Bell's early creative energy and the unparalleled technical skill and dedication he has brought to each of his sculpture's fabrication across the decades. Featuring work from the 1990s, the exhibition surveys Bell's transition from smaller maquettes to his eventual projection into a larger-scale glass sculpture practice. Highlighting two major works from this period, both standing at over eight feet tall, the show demonstrates the manner in which Bell developed his work in the desert, and how the light and spaciousness in this environment encouraged a more expansive approach within his work. Directing the flow of natural light, playing with shadows through the use of reflective, translucent, or transparent materials, these large scale installations create situations capable of stimulating heightened sensory awareness in the viewer.
Press release courtesy Hauser & Wirth.