Artist biography

Larry Bell born 1939

American West Coast artist who works mainly with glass and industrial techniques to achieve effects of transparency and reflection. Born in Chicago; moved to Los Angeles. Studied at Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles, 1957-9. Made in 1961-2 monochrome paintings on shaped canvases, whose outline corresponded to the silhouette of a box drawn in isometric projection. Soon began to substitute panes of glass and then mirror for parts of the design. First one-man exhibition at the Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles, 1962. Began to make glass boxes in 1962, at first complex with coloured or mirrored surfaces and contrasting patterns, then from 1965 very pure and aetherial. Turned in 1968-9 to making works on an environmental scale, including black rooms in almost total darkness at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1969 and the Tate Gallery 1970, and above all installations with large sheets of glass partly mirrored and partly transparent. Now lives at Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.40-1