Larry Bell is one of the most renowned and influential artists to emerge from the Los Angeles art scene of the 1960s, alongside contemporaries Ed Ruscha and Robert Irwin, and had garnered international repute by the age of 30. Known foremost for his refined surface treatment of glass and explorations of light, reflection and shadow through the material, Bell’s significant oeuvre extends from painting and works on paper to glass sculptures and furniture design.
Bell’s understanding of the potential of glass and light allows him to expand visual and physical fields of perception, and his sculptures to surpass traditional bounds of the medium. He has said: ‘Although we tend to think of glass as a window, it is a solid liquid that has at once three distinctive qualities: it reflects light, it absorbs light, and it transmits light all at the same time.’
Bell’s use of commercial industrial processes in his studio, located in Venice, California since the 1960s, demonstrates his unparalleled skill and dedication in each step of his sculptures’ fabrication. Since 1969, his studio has managed its own high-vacuum coating system that allows him to deposit thin metal films onto his glass surfaces, harnessing a little known technique developed for aeronautics to create an unprecedented body of work.