Larry Bell


Larry Bell was a Master Artist in Residence at SFAI in 1986, when he conducted a workshop / master class with selected students.

Throughout his career Larry Bell has made investigations into the properties of light on surface. By experimenting with the nature of surface and its relationship to space, Bell has devised a methodology characterised by spontaneity, intuition and improvisation. Bell began his career in 1959 and his earliest works consisted of abstract, monochrome paintings on paper and shaped canvases whose outlines corresponded to the silhouette of a box drawn in isometric projection. Panes of glass and then mirrors were substituted for parts of the painted design and this exploration of spatial ambiguity eventually evolved into sculptural constructions made of wood and glass. These works represent the genesis of Bell’s later glass cubes and standing glass-panel wall sculptures. From 1963 onward, Bell began exploring the passing of light through the cube sculptures, deploying a technique of vacuum deposition whereby thin films were added to the clear glass panels. Bell found that these glass cubes, presented on transparent pedestals, offered the viewer the essence of the captured light, becoming, in the process, tapestries of reflected, transmitted and absorbed light. Challenging notions of mass, volume and gravity in one single measure, the cubes appeared to float on the light between the floor and the work.

Image Gallery


Additional Work

Artists’ Materials & Processes: Larry Bell (News Item) part of the GCI’s ongoing research into the conservation of modern and contemporary art, the Institute has been studying the novel materials and fabrication processes used by artists active in Los Angeles in the 1960s and ’70s. To this end, GCI Assistant Scientist Rachel Rivenc visited the…

Sixties Survivors - Artist Larry Bell

Sixties Survivors – Artist Larry Bell Bell with one of his signature glass and chrome structures with subtle color coatings. Photo by Arnold Newman, from the January 9, 1968, edition of LOOK.

David Anthony Fine Art – Larry Bell

David Anthony Fine Art – Larry Bell Bell is one of the most noteworthy representatives of American abstract art in the postwar period, with a career that has spanned four decades, earning him an audience in all the major art ce…

Larry Bell - Artists - Danese/Corey

Larry Bell – Artists – Danese/Corey Bell’s work is clearly associated with Minimalism and the “geometric clarity and industrial manufacture of his work may partially justify this designation, Bell tends to reject the literal demands of this movement and teases the eye”[1] with visual complexity. The cubes seem…
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