Larry BellVapor Drawing LNVF XI 1979

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Artwork details

Larry Bell (born 1939)
Vapor Drawing LNVF XI
Date 1979
MediumMetal on paper
Dimensionssupport: 1527 x 1076 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1979
Not on display

Catalogue entry

T02412 VAPOUR DRAWING LNVFXI 7/10/79 1979

Inscribed ‘L. Bell 79’ b.r.
Vaporised metal on paper, 60 1/8 × 42 3/8 (152.8 × 107.6)
Purchased from the artist (Grant-in-Aid) 1979

Larry Bell has used the industrial process of vacuum deposition to coat glass surfaces since 1962, when he made the Tate Gallery's mirrored box, ‘Untitled’ (T01695). He obtained his first vacuum chamber in 1966 and a larger one in 1969, making it possible to work with large-scale glass surfaces. In March 1978, he made his first ‘vapour drawing’ on paper, using a modified version of the vacuum coating process.

The material Bell uses to coat both his glass and his paper works is Inconel, a nickel chrome alloy containing iron, magnesium, cobalt and traces of other metals. This is loaded onto filaments (similar to those used for light bulbs), which are then placed in a vacuum chamber. Each filament is approximately six inches long and is made up of stranded tungsten wire around the centre of which is wrapped a twelve inch strip of Inconel wire… (read more)

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