Born in Chicago, Larry Bell has been questioning the notions of perception and optical illusion for almost sixty years. Associated with the Finish Fetish movement, also known as the “LA Look”, Larry Bell’s work is characterized by immaculate surfaces and use of industrial techniques and materials inspired by Southern California popular culture and the aerospace industry. His iconic glass cubes are mesmerizing examples of this investigation. The translucent minimalist geometric sculptures offer a kinaesthetic experience, as illusory shapes appear and evaporate within the cubic volume as one moves around the work.
Larry Bell’s desire to disrupt the viewer’s perception is a trait shared with other artists affiliated with Light and Space, most notably Robert Irwin and James Turrell. The legacy of Bell, however, is not only material but also conceptual. For the pursuit of industrial materials represented a rejection of art as an object, a dominant theoretical underpinning of Minimalism, in pursuit of art as experience.
“My work is about the various properties of light and the way it interacts with surfaces.”