Los Angeles

Larry Bell

ACE Gallery

Larry Bell is the most laboratoryish of famous young Los Angeles artists; his gambade from witty, austere canvases (one, painted on duck cloth, was called Them Ol’ Cottonfields Back Home) to more technocratic methods was more abrupt, less hindered by media romances (as with paint and now with resin) than even Irwin’s or Bengston’s. Consequently, Bell seems the most “conceptual” of the group. There seems to be some idea, some philosophical point slipping around in the mirror-and-ellipse boxes, the plain and evenly tinted boxes, the barely rainbowed boxes, and now the glass “shelves.” I say “seems to be” because I’ve never figured out what it is. Perhaps it comes down to my disbelief that there’s nothing more than a sophisticated artisan’s interest in diffused or isolated visual phenomena; so it is that Bell has registered with me as an elegant, talented, but reluctant ophthalmologist. The

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