May 31 – July 19, 2008
Opening : Saturday, May 31, noon – 8 p.m
For his second exhibition at Galerie Daniel Templon, Californian minimal artist Larry Bell, returns with a radical installation of glass walls and cubes at Impasse Beaubourg, the gallery’s new project space located across the main gallery.
The exhibition consists in a group of new small glass cubes and an architectural installation, all processed through the same technique of metal sublimation. Inconel, a nickel and chromium alloy, is heated at very high temperature in a special chamber until it changes into vapor, slowly coating surfaces with microscopic layers. The result is a stunning prism like effect, which makes surfaces, either paper or glass, turn into shimmering colorful mirrors.
As viewers walk around the pieces, light keeps changing, revealing new volumes and colors. Larry Bell’s work is about perception and the relationship between space and light. It reveals the complex connections between nature and artifacts, reality and the artificial notions of right angle and infinite plans. However, the introduction of color and his more recent smaller cubes go beyond a re-reading of Minimalism. They explore our traditional relationship to contemporary art. They question the “White Cube” of the gallery space and the impossibility of ever grasping the true essence of art objects.
Born in 1939, Bell is considered one of the pioneers of the Los Angeles minimalist art scene, which emerged in the sixties. Like his contemporaries Donald Judd or Sol LeWitt, he quickly developed an interest for the cube, the ideal mathematical shape, and its multiple possibilities. In the eighties, Larry Bell withdrew from his minimal experiments to focus on painting and more figurative sculpture. It is only in the early 2000, when he moved back to Los Angeles, that he chose to return to his exploration of the cube.
Today his work is present in many international collections including the Museum Of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of art, California; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. An impressive retrospective was dedicated to the artist in 2005 at Pace Wildenstein Gallery in New York. His work is also often included in important group exhibitions on minimalism, such as recently, at the Las Vegas Museum (California Minimalism, 2006), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2006), Museum of Contemporary Art Sidney (2008).