Museum  November 1, 2018  Megan D Robinson

"Larry Bell: Time Machines" Brings Together 30 Years of Pioneering Minimalism

Photo: Thomas P. Vinetz. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

Installation view: Larry Bell with Hydrolux (1986) at Boise Art Museum, 1986.

A leading figure in West Coast minimalism, Larry Bell is having his first major museum survey in four decades. Opening November 1 at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami), Larry Bell: Time Machines showcases the work of one of the most renowned and influential artists to come out of the 1960s L.A. art scene. Bell achieved international recognition by the age of 30 through his perception-challenging exploration of light and pioneering work that includes painting, works on paper, glass sculptures and furniture design.

Photo by Fredrik Nilsen Studio

Larry Bell: Time Machines at ICA Miami

Spanning three decades of the artist’s career, Larry Bell: Time Machines brings together Bell’s seminal and large-scale sculpture, photography, and rarely-seen immersive architectural installations, often using metallic-coated glass and Mylar-coated paper. Known for his minimalist sculptures, transparent cubes and glass installations that create an interplay of light, shape, and environment, Bell was a champion of Light and Space Movement of the 1960s. Bell utilizes techniques developed through scientific and technological experimentation. Using commercial industrial processes, including high-vacuum coating system techniques developed for aeronautics, he creates immersive sensory experiences for viewers.

Larry Bell, Untitled (Cube 12”), 1964. Nickel plated glass and chrome plated brass.
Courtesy Hall Collection. Photo by Sylvia Ros.

Larry Bell, Untitled (Cube 12”), 1964. Nickel plated glass and chrome plated brass.

Larry Bell, Untitled, 1966.
Courtesy Hall Collection. Photo by Silvia Ros.

Larry Bell, Untitled, 1966. Glass and aluminum with Plexiglas base.

Larry Bell, Untitled, 1966.
Courtesy Hall Collection. Photo by Silvia Ros.

Larry Bell, Untitled, 1966. Glass, vaporized gold, black chrome.

“Though Larry Bell is one of the most important and pioneering figures in minimalism, his approach is also deeply individual and distinct within the movement,” said Gean Moreno, ICA Miami’s Curator of Programs. “Time Machines highlights key works that illustrate his singular contributions and the ways in which his practice has always been embedded in his cultural and social surroundings, both locally and globally, physically, and theoretically.”

Photo by Fredrik Nilsen Studio

Larry Bell: Time Machines at ICA Miami

The exhibition gives viewers a rare chance to experience some of Bell’s installations, including his only water sculpture, Hydrolux (1986), fully restored for the first time in almost thirty years. Bell’s architectural installation, Leaning Room (1986-87), is exhibited for the first time since 1986. Black Room (1970), was exhibited last at MoMA over forty years ago. The exhibition’s eponymous work, Time Machine, an interactive installation, transposes two participants’ faces on a sheet of coated glass.

Larry Bell: Time Machines runs until March 10, 2019.

About the Author

Megan D Robinson

Megan D Robinson writes for Art & Object and the Iowa Source.