American, b. 1939, Chicago, Illinois
Lives and works in Venice, California
Larry Bell is most commonly known for his Minimalist sculptures—transparent cubes that thrive on the interplay of shape, light, and environment— that champion the ideas of the Light and Space Movement of the 1960s. Although Bell had early success with Abstract Expressionist painting, a side job at a frame shop led him to experiment with excess scraps of glass, thus beginning his fascination with the material’s interaction with light. Bell’s first series of cubes combined three-dimensional glass forms with transmitted light, creating illusions of perspective through angles, ellipses, and mirrors. His later purchase of industrial plating equipment allowed him to create sculptures with metallic-coated glass and, eventually, drawings on mylar-coated paper. At age 46, correction of a lifelong hearing disability brought depressive hallucinations, which Bell channeled into collages of coated materials for catharsis.