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date: 23 August 2019

Bell, Larry (Stuart)locked

(b Chicago, IL, Dec 6, 1939).
  • Barbara Haskell

Extract

(Stuart)

(b Chicago, IL, Dec 6, 1939).

American painter and sculptor. Bell Los Angeles from 1957 to 1959. After experimenting with geometrically shaped paintings, he turned to constructed paintings made of mirrored and transparent glass and canvas, for example Untitled (Magic Boxes) (canvas, acrylic, glass, 1964; Los Angeles, CA, Co. Mus. A.). The optical ambiguities created by the reflections of the viewer’s image and the ambient space became the hallmark of Bell’s work. Dissatisfied with the limitations of two-dimensional art, he began making faceted boxes of mirrored and transparent glass, the reflecting and refracting surfaces of which greatly extended the optical complexities and ambiguities of his earlier glass and canvas paintings. By late 1964 he had abandoned faceted, mirrored boxes in favour of pure glass cubes, whose sides he coated with various metals to create fields of elusive, evanescent colour, for example Untitled (1965; artist’s col., see 1982 exh. cat., p. 25). The environmental space seen through and reflected by the glass optically merged with the cube and became an intrinsic part of it....

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