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.Read More
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.
Bell studied at the Chouinard Art Institute (now a part of the California Institute of the Arts) between 1957 and 1959.
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.
Larry Bell has held numerous solo and group exhibitions. Selected solo exhibitions include Still Standing, Hauser & Wirth, New York (2020); Cubic Propositions, Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, New Mexico (2020); Time Machines, ICA Miami, Florida (2019); Aspen Blues, Aspen Art Museum (2018); Larry Bell: Cubes, Mirage Works, Fractions, Anne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie, Basel (2016).
Ocula | 2021
Pace Gallery's latest exhibition in New York highlights the sculptural collaborations of artist-duo Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.Read More Ocula Feature Armory Week Lowdown: Art Shows to See in 2020 By Casey Carsel, New York
The Armory Show returns with a flourishing programme, complemented by stand-out shows across Ne.Read More 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'. !(https://files.ocula.com/anzax/Read More
Since it was begun in 2000, Unlimited, which is offered only at the fair in Basel, has proved to be a particularly popular draw. Most people attending the fair–there were 95,000 last year–are expectRead More Related Press Preview Art Basel 2019 7 June 2019, ARTnews
Art Basel 2019 opens to the public on Thursday, June 13, with two preview days, on June 11 and 12. Some 290 galleries from 34 countries will show work at the Swiss fair, which runs through June 16.Read More Related Press A User’s Guide to the Whitney Biennial 13 March 2017, The New York Times
The curators have capitalized on the Whitney’s enviable cityside balconies, which will feature art both massive (a suite of red laminated glass boxes by the West Coast veteran Larry Bell) and invisible (a sound work by the young artist Zarouhie Abdalian).Read More Related Press Moses, Ruscha, Bell, Bengston: Backstage with the Cool School of artists, cooler than ever 23 January 2017, Los Angeles Times
These legendary artists were known almost as much for their raucous, hard-partying ways as for their exploration of minimalism, abstraction and Pop art.Read More
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 hView More