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Art Basel in Hong Kong: Exhibitions to See Ocula Report Art Basel in Hong Kong: Exhibitions to See 23 Mar 2019 : Tessa Moldan for Ocula

For those visiting during Art Basel in Hong Kong (29–31 March 2019), the smell of fresh paint may still be in the air at the latest heritage conservation project, The Mills, which opened on 16 March to encompass the Centre for Heritage, Arts and Textiles (CHAT), joining the ranks with ex-prison complex Tai Kwun, along with Eaton HK—a retro...

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Firenze Lai Ocula Conversation Firenze Lai

Firenze Lai says that she knows her studio of a few hundred square feet intimately; from the textures of its surfaces to the way the breeze blows into the room. The spaces depicted in her paintings are equally intimate. When curators seem to be at a loss for words to discuss troubled times, fear of containment, and the feeling of being completely...

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Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber Ocula Report Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber 15 Mar 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...

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Larry Bell

b. 1939, USA

Larry Bell is an American sculptor and painter whose impressive body of work can be viewed across a single developmental arc of improvisation, experimentation and impulse. In an interview with Ocula, the artist said: 'I consider my work to be evidence of my studies and the externalisation of a current thought. It is also about intuition, improvisation and spontaneity; these elements all impact the final result.’ Bell's work also explores the relationship between light and surface, and also space, context and the viewer. This is especially apparent in his well-known glass cube series, which play with perspective, space and surface.

Beginning as an artist much aware of Abstract Expressionism, Bell began to incorporate simple geometric forms and pieces of glass and mirrors into his paintings, making spatially complex collages that created a certain dimensional dissonance. This experimentation with surfaces eventually allowed him to fully explore the possibility-rich relationship between light and the surfaces it touches. His glass cubes began with having thin film added to their glass panels by means of vacuum deposition, portraying different ways of light interacting with glass. These cubes play with the notion of space, and also mass and volume, giving the impression that the works are suspended in the air. Bell continued to push the boundaries of his materials, commissioning a device that coated surfaces more effectively, allowing for glass to be reflective, transmitting and absorbing of light all at once. He applied this technique to large glass sheets that were at once reflective and transparent that could both reveal and deceive, and be rearranged into multiple variations, such as in his 1974 work The Iceberg and It’s Shadow, made up of 56 large panels.

Bell has also incorporated these thin film deposition techniques onto other media such as on paper for his Vapour Drawings. His Light Knot series involve twisted, almost weightless forms of mylar film coated in thin metallic film hung from the ceiling, and moved and spun by even the slightest air movement.

Bell studied at the Chouinard Art Institute (now a part of the California Institute of the Arts) and he has participated in numerous institutional exhibitions, including the 1965 exhibition The Responsive Eye at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; as well as in exhibitions at the Guggenheim International, 1967; documenta 4 in 1968; and the Venice Biennale in 1976. He has enjoyed numerous solo exhibitions, including at the Pasadena Art Museum, 1972; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1986; and Carré d’Art Musée d’art Contemporain de Nîmes, France, 2011. Bell also has his works in permanent collections such as the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Art Institute, Chicago; Denver Art Museum, Denver; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Larry Bell lives and works between Taos, New Mexico and Los Angeles, California.

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Featured Artworks

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MSMS #154 by Larry Bell contemporary artwork Larry BellMSMS #154, 1994 Mixed media on canvas
106.6 x 106.6 cm
Anne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie
Untitled (Mirage Painting) by Larry Bell contemporary artwork Larry BellUntitled (Mirage Painting), 1990 Metallic paint, acrylic and paper collage on canvas
110 x 110 x 3.5 cm
Anne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie
AAAAA 60 A by Larry Bell contemporary artwork Larry BellAAAAA 60 A, 2007 Mixed media on black Hiromi paper
101 x 74.6 cm
Anne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie
Cube #41 by Larry Bell contemporary artwork Larry BellCube #41, 2007 Glass coated with inconel
38.1 x 38.1 x 38.1 cm
Pace Gallery
Untitled by Larry Bell contemporary artwork Larry BellUntitled, 1970 Glass with mineral coating
5.1 x 289.6 cm
Pace Gallery
Untitled by Larry Bell contemporary artwork Larry BellUntitled, 1970 Glass with mineral coating
5.1 x 289.6 cm
Pace Gallery
Untitled by Larry Bell contemporary artwork Larry BellUntitled, 1970 Glass with mineral coating
5.1 x 289.6 cm
Pace Gallery
Untitled by Larry Bell contemporary artwork Larry BellUntitled, 1970 Glass with mineral coating
0.6 x 254 x 12.7 cm
Pace Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Back to L.A. at Anne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie, Basel
Closed
30 November 2018–1 February 2019 Group Exhibition Back to L.A. Anne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie, Basel
Contemporary art exhibition, Larry Bell, Complete Cubes at Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles
Closed
23 June–23 September 2018 Larry Bell Complete Cubes Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Frank Stella & Larry Bell, Frank Stella & Larry Bell at Marianne Boesky Gallery, Aspen
Closed
13 June–23 July 2017 Frank Stella & Larry Bell Frank Stella & Larry Bell Marianne Boesky Gallery, Aspen

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Larry Bell talks spontaneous improvisation Ocula Insight Larry Bell talks spontaneous improvisation By Anna Dickie and Stephanie Bailey

In 2016, artist Larry Bell gave a talk in the Swire Properties Lounge at Art Basel in Hong Kong, where he described his work as a 'spontaneous improvisation'. It is a surprising description when thinking about the work he is best known for: slick glass cube works including Pacific Red (2016), which comprises three large-scale reflective glass cubes...

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In Related Press

A User’s Guide to the Whitney Biennial Related Press A User’s Guide to the Whitney Biennial The New York Times : 13 March 2017

Everything had to be reinvented for the 2017 Whitney Biennial — the first to take place in the new riverside home of the Whitney Museum. But then, this leading showcase of contemporary American art feels refreshed in other ways, too.

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Moses, Ruscha, Bell, Bengston: Backstage with the Cool School of artists, cooler than ever Related Press Moses, Ruscha, Bell, Bengston: Backstage with the Cool School of artists, cooler than ever Los Angeles Times : 23 January 2017

It’s dark backstage as artists Ed Moses, Ed Ruscha, Larry Bell and Billy Al Bengston get miked up to appear before a packed house at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. The glow of house lights seeps in from the stage wings and the audible bustle of audience members settling into their seats fills the tiny backstage nook. Pre-show suspense hangs in...

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In conversation: Larry Bell with Alex Bacon Related Press In conversation: Larry Bell with Alex Bacon The Brooklyn Rail : 4 March 2016

Alex Bacon visited Larry Bell in his Venice Beach studio to reflect on the artist’s long and influential career, which is currently being celebrated in an exhibition of work from the 1960s at Hauser & Wirth’s uptown space at 32 East 69th Street. It runs through April 9, 2016.Alex Bacon (Rail): The show at Hauser & Wirth is...

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Haunted reflections: Larry Bell's experimental work on show at White Cube Mason’s Yard Related Press Haunted reflections: Larry Bell's experimental work on show at White Cube Mason’s Yard Wallpaper* : 19 July 2015

Larry Bell has been exploring the aesthetics of light and surface for over five decades. In that time, the New Mexico-based artist, who is now 75, has produced a masterful body work comprising sculpture, installations and collages that harness light with serene and haunting effect. A new exhibition, 2D-3D: Glass & Vapor at White Cube...

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In Related Video

Complete Cubes: Inside Larry Bell’s Taos studio Related Video & Audio Complete Cubes: Inside Larry Bell’s Taos studio Hauser & Wirth : 11 July 2018
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Larry Bell. Complete Cubes, Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles Related Video & Audio Larry Bell. Complete Cubes, Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles Hauser & Wirth : 22 June 2018
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Larry Bell. Venice Fog: Recent Investigations, Hauser & Wirth Zürich Related Video & Audio Larry Bell. Venice Fog: Recent Investigations, Hauser & Wirth Zürich Hauser & Wirth : 17 January 2018

Larry Bell talks about Venice Fog: Recent Investigations, an exhibition of new laminated glass works with colour combinations inspired by the marine fog which rolls into Venice CA, the location of his studio since the early 1960s.Bell’s understanding of the potential of glass and light allows him to expand visual and physical fields of perception,...

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