Larry Bell (American, b.1939)
Who is American Artist Larry Bell?
Larry Bell is an American artist and sculptor. For most of his life, he has been best known for his large glass boxes. He’s been widely accepted as an innovator for most of his artistic life and has received grants and endowments from the NEA, the Guggenheim, and other prestigious institutions. While he was born in Chicago, much of Bell’s life has been spent in Taos, New Mexico, where he continues a long tradition of innovative art that stretches back to the early 20th century.
Trained at the Chouinard Art Institute to become a Disney animator, he would diverge quickly from this path when his exhibit Primary Structures premiered in 1966. This exhibition featured many of his shadow or “ghost boxes” and was an instant critical success. His use of mirrors and windows often destabilizes the viewer’s perspective, giving complexity to his pieces and agitating the viewer. They’re beautiful and deceptively complex works. Bell continues to maintain a studio to this day in Venice Beach, California.
What type of art does Larry Bell create?
Larry Bell is an abstract expressionist and modern sculptor best known for his large glass boxes and shadow box pieces. He often uses found materials like Formica, brass, and wood to create geometric pieces, a practice that gained worldwide acclaim after his exhibit, Primary Structures in 1966 at the Jewish Museum in New York. p>
How often do Larry Bell paintings come up for auction?
Larry Bell has had a long and fruitful career, and as such his paintings come up for auction often. While his most popular pieces are his large glass boxes, there are also many examples of his early expressionist paintings and other experiments in his auction history. A true visionary, having a Bell sculpture in your collection is a must for any serious collector.
How much is a Larry Bell sculpture worth?
Larry Bell sculptures are often worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Even lesser-known pieces often sell in the high tens of thousands ($60,000+). While there is some value to be had on the low end (a recent piece called Elin 26 (1981) sold for $625, well below the low estimate of $1000) most major works by Bell sell for significantly more than their estimates.
Which Larry Bell sculpture is the most valuable?
The most ever paid for a Larry Bell sculpture was $623,400 for the piece Untitled (1969). It is a large glass box -- one of Bell’s most iconic sculptures. In 2008, it sold for over $200,000 more than its high estimate. It’s notable for many reasons, but maybe chiefly for the amount it sold, which was nearly $300,000 more than his next most valuable piece (ECLIPSE (1965) sold for $372,500).
What are the most famous sculptures by Larry Bell?
Almost all of Larry Bell’s most famous sculptures are his glass boxes. Many of these pieces are untitled or have one-word names. While they are similar in style, there are subtle differences that make each sculpture unique, and each uniquely Bell: many use tinted glass or glass coated with Inconel. Others have unusual plexiglass bases or other distinguishing features. No matter what, a piece by Bell is instantly recognizable.
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How do you know what's valuable?
Our Art Value Guide provides free information about how to value your Larry Bell Artwork.