MELBKIN (Medium Ellipse on Black Paper with Insert), 1985
29 1/4 x 23 1/2 inches (74.3 x 56.7 cm.)
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Larry Bell is an American artist mostly known for his association with the ‘60s Light and Space Movement. This group of West Coast artists were concerned with optical ambiguity and the experience of perception. Throughout his artistic career, Bell has focused on the interaction between the object and the environment to create abstractions and reflections of light and figures. The hallmark of his sculptural and reflective work are his emblematic three-dimensional glass cubes, developed using metal frames, glass, mirrors, ellipses and transmitted light to challenge the upper limits of perception. Larry Bell is an internationally acclaimed artist, who has inspired contemporary artists such as James Turrel.
MELBKIN is part of The Vapor Drawings, a series where Bell uses a modified version of the industrial process of vacuum deposition, usually applied to glass surfaces, to coat paper. This piece portrays a captivating and austere ellipse on a black paper, which after receiving the vaporized metal, yields a multitude of visual effects and a vibrant spectrum of colors. His paper works explore the same concepts of reflectiveness, spatiality, transparency and opacity as his sculptures.