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Recent work by Larry Bell featured in new exhibition at Frank Lloyd Gallery in Santa Monica
Larry Bell, SF 6/21/12, 2012. Mixed media on paper, 30 x 22 in. Image courtesy of the artist and Frank Lloyd Gallery.
SANTA MONICA, CA.- The Frank Lloyd Gallery presents Recent Work by Larry Bell. This exhibition features 22 collages from Bell's "Small Figures" series that fuse together materials such as paper, fabric, acetate, and Mylar. These various layers have been coated with vaporized metallic particles in the artist's signature thin film deposition process, with luminously beautiful results.

Although Larry Bell is best known for his investigations into the complexities of highly refined surface treatments of glass, he also has an extensive history with collage. Earlier forays into the medium have included abstract forms and landscape-based imagery as well as figurative imagery and the use of the vertical portrait format. In his most recent works on paper, Bell returns to the figure while simultaneously scaling down in size.

The medium of collage is closely associated with the birth of Modernism in the early twentieth century, so it is no surprise that these works have a Modernist air about them. These fractured figures simultaneously evoke cubism, surrealism, and futurism, while retaining their own contemporary identity.

In this "Small Figures" series, the traditionally cut-and-paste layers of collage instead blend seamlessly into each other. David Pagel, writer and critic for the Los Angeles Times, describes this phenomenon: "In Bell's hands, the fragments central to collage fuse into single, unruptured planes of iridescent colors that shift and shimmer with every twitch of the eye." 1

The exhibition also includes selected examples of "Light Knots," a series of three-dimensional kinetic sculptures. Hung from the ceiling, the nearly weightless works sway with the slightest air movement. Their iridescent layers shift and shimmer in the light, reflecting the surrounding environment.

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