Venice Fog: Recent Investigations
ell is one of the most renowned and influential artists to emerge from the Los Angeles art scene of the 1960s, alongside contemporaries Frank Stella and Donald Judd, 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.
‘Venice Fog: Recent Investigations’ is an exhibition of new laminated glass works with colour combinations inspired by the marine fog which rolls into Venice CA, the location of Bell’s studio since the early 1960s. Large cubic glass works will showcase Bell’s interpretation of the luminosity created by the dispersion of water in the fog intermingling with the lights of Los Angeles’ desert plain. The structure presented is based on one Bell originally introduced in 1992 in an outdoor commission for the Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, and features a four-paneled structure within a larger version of itself.
This sculpture allows two colours to be fused together through reflection and refraction. This technique has been a focal element of Bell’s work since he was in art school and cut scrap glass to fit into the wooden shadowboxes he found at his part-time picture framing job: ‘The one break in the glass created three lines – One a reflection from the break, one the shadow of the break, and the break itself. Reflection, transmission and edge, these elements still are dynamic forces in my work.’ The constant presence of the misty Sea Salt color of the exterior glass structures plays with and against the various hues of the interior glass structures, evoking the mercurial light of the Los Angeles sun, a glow that has preoccupied Bell throughout his career.