In 1963, Larry Bell became interested in the ways in which glass diffuses, absorbs, and reflects light. Bell also discovered if he treated the material in a certain way, it would do all three at the same time. Over time, cubes became the ideal form with which he could investigate the interplay of light and surface, especially when presented on transparent pedestals. Initially, Bell employed household mirrors, selectively scratching away at areas of the reflective material. In these early sculptures, the artist also added visual complexity and depth by incorporating geometric imagery, such as the ellipsis shape presented here. Challenging notions of mass, volume, and gravity, this work seems as if it is floating.
Label from Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s, June 30–December 30, 2018