About The Artist
Light and Space and Finish Fetish artist Larry Bell is known for his glass cube sculptures and Mylar and laminating film drawings that explore the phenomena of light and perception. His early pedigree was impressive, and he was one of the foremost artists to emerge from the California art scene in the 1950s and 1960s. Educated at Chinouard Art Institute (now CalArts) under Robert Irwin from 1957-1959, Bell quickly joined the roster of artists at the legendary Ferus Gallery in the early 1960s. He showed frequently with Pace Gallery in the late sixties and seventies.
Initially interested in Abstract Expressionism, Bell became fascinated with the reflection and refraction of light while working part-time at a commercial framing shop as a student. He quickly discarded his painting materials for glass, and took up technological materials more commonly used in the aerospace industry than for art. His early glass cubes were fabricated by an outside glass manufacturer, but eventually Bell literally took things into his own hands. Referring to the 1956 textbook Vacuum Deposition of Thin Films, he purchased a vacuum chamber and coated sheets of glass with laminates and metallic films.
In the late 1970s, and continuing to this day, Bell also added experiments on paper and canvas to his body of work. Using similar techniques as in his glass cubes, his “Vapor Drawings” consist of metallic films and silicon substances on paper and encased in Plexiglas. The “Light Knot” sculptures are made up of Mylar, a polyester film, treated with metals and quartz. They hang from the ceiling like mobiles, swaying, moving and interplaying with light to a transfixing effect.
When not in his Venice, California studio, the artist can be found working in Taos, New Mexico. Bell first went out to Taos in 1973, on the heels of his good friend Ken Price. Bell’s oeuvre has been featured in solo shows at institutions including the Pasadena Art Museum, Oakland Museum of Art, Fort Worth Art Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. His work is held in museum collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate Gallery, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
"Larry Bell." Pacific Standard Time at the Getty Center. Getty.edu. The J. Paul Getty Museum. Web. 13. Nov. 2014.
Bell, Larry. "The Art of Larry Bell." LarryBell.com. Web. 13. Nov. 2014.