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8 February 2010

Larry Bell’s boxes

This past weekend I visited David Zwirner Gallery to see ‚ÄúPrimary Atmospheres: Works from California 1960-1970,” an informal survey of art from the mainly Los Angeles based visual art movement called “light & space” — Cali’s flaked out, completely lovely response to minimalism, a mostly east coast affair. The favorite notice I’ve read comes (as it often does) from Peter Schjeldahl at The New Yorker. They won’t let you read him on the web unless you’re a subscriber, but they will let you see this slide show with audio. Take what you can get, I guess?

I feel the same about these pictures I’m sharing. They’re not the same as the real thing. But you’ll have to take what you can get.

These boxes, they’re by Larry Bell.

“Glass boxes” is a way to try and contain them in words but know that term doesn’t do them nearly as much justice as their presence.

Bell’s website, however, kind of does the trick. Here’s a screen shot.

If you can’t make out all the words it says “I am convinced that the best way to tell the world about my work is to use the internet.” It’s kind of batshit crazy, the website, and that message in particular, and I can’t tell if he’s joking, or not — and that makes it all the more awesome.

Anyway, minimalism is something of a problematic term in all the many endeavors it was used to describe in the 1960s & 1970s. The literary of minimalism of Raymond Carver turned out to be something of a fraud — or at least an editorial construct. The very notion of using some doctrine to compose music risks ruining it or mis-characterizing the nature of its actual sound. But I won’t argue that the means with which Bell creates his work is efficient; the ends, though, the ends…

Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis

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1 Comment

  1. On 2010-2-10 Tristan said:

    i like how there weren’t all that many minimalists. it’s always amazing how with such simplicity, they all still have profoundly different approaches to art. and since there weren’t so many, they end up standing even more monolithic.

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