The last day in this cycle of blogs on Forgotten artists. The 5th blog is devoted to Larry Bell. I was in doubt if he really is forgotten, but concluded that at least in Europe he is forgotten. Where he had an initial important exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in 1968, for which Wim Crouwel designed the catalogue his name never showed up again in the Netherlands for participating in an exhibition ……but on the other side of the ocean it was different and his fame rose in the US from the early Seventies until now. The cubes he has made are magical and are a long time element in his oeuvre. This is what he says on his site on his Cubes.
Larry Bell became interested in glass in the early 1960s. As a medium, it had three properties that interested: it could transmit, absorb and reflect light, and with specific treatment, it could do all three at the same time. He found the cube to be an ideal form with which to investigate the phenomena of light on surface. The first cubes were made using household mirrors from which he would scratch away parts of the reflective material. Later he discovered a plating process that would make the glass reflective on both sides. With the early cubes, he incorporated geometric imagery, including the ellipse, adding visual complexity and depth to the simple forms. Eventually he eliminated the imagery. With a technology that deposited exquisitely thin films of various metallic and non-metallic substances to the glass. The resulting visual spectrum of colors is in fact light reflected in different wavelengths off the surface of the glass. Bell has continued to revisit the cubes throughout his career.
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