Larry Bell: A Survey
Larry Bell will soon have a large survey exhibition in Nimes, France. Since it opens February 25, 2011, Larry has been busy with preparations for quite a while. The curator, Marie de Brugerolle, has been assembling the exhibition for two years. A significant amount of the material will come from European collections. The location, Carre d’Art—Nimes Museum of Contemporary Art, is one of the largest museums in southern France. Larry’s show will also have a catalogue, with text in French and English. I recently caught up with Larry, and he had these comments about his upcoming survey show:
Frank Lloyd: Is everything from your studio packed and ready to go?
Larry Bell: The works for France are all packed with the exception of an untitled oil painting from 1959.
Q. How many works will be in the show?
A. The show will have close to 350 works in it and it is not a retrospective. The curator wanted a rather romantic view of my activities. It’s a ‘Survey’, so I am curious how this turns out. The big number is mostly due to the Fraction environment that will have 280 pieces hung in a cipher in one long line in a huge room. A bunch of photos. I can’t believe she wanted to use these but I went along with it.
A. I am doing the third installation of the “Leaning Room” [a work that was first done at the Venice studio and then at MOCA] and it will be a huge leaning room. A few cubes from collections in Europe, an environment made out of a large glass piece and large cube, both were borrowed from museums in Lyon and Amsterdam. I will mix these two pieces into a new environment.
Q. All of this means you will be doing an enormous amount of installation work?
A. I guess that is why I am sitting on my ass watching old movies. There is an enormous amount of improvisation coming with this show and there is nothing I like more. It’s sometimes easier to be improvisational when you’re exhausted.
Q. Don’t you get tired when you travel back and forth from your Venice studio to Taos?
A. The physical changes from Venice to Taos are starting to wear on me, I get more tired with each trip. On the other hand, it’s probably age. Working on the Nimes show reminds me of how much work I have already done.