Larry Bell’s Light Knots
Today I am opening a new exhibition of recent works by Larry Bell at the gallery. The show includes 22 Small Figures, a luminously beautiful series of collage works as well as selected examples of Light Knots, a series of three-dimensional kinetic sculptures. These sculptures derive from Larry’s current collages, a kinship reflected in their shape and composition, as well as their materials.
Light Knots begin their lives as sheets of Mylar film, which Larry cuts, folds, and coats with vaporized metallic particles. Hung from the ceiling with monofilament, the nearly weightless works sway with the slightest air movement. Their iridescent layers shift and shimmer in the light, reflecting the surrounding environment. Like the collages, the appearance of the Light Knots shifts dramatically depending on the ambient light and the viewer’s position towards them.
According to Larry, “the colors you see are not pigments, they are what is known as interference color…the same as a little gas on a puddle of water at a filling station.” The surfaces of the Knots transmit, reflect, and absorb light, continuing the artist’s lifelong fascination with the nature of perception, and how to manipulate its properties.
Here’s a video filmed and produced by Ollie Bell, which really captures the beauty of the Light Knots.