About the Artwork

Pacific Red (IV) (2017) encapsulates the mesmerising metamorphosis and innovation that characterises Larry Bell’s Pacific Red nesting box glass sculptures, which mark a turning point in the artist’s extraordinary practice and were a celebrated highlight of the 2017 Whitney Biennial. Bell’s nesting boxes are one of the most important examples of the artist’s freestanding glass wall sculptures, a subset of Bell’s practice which he began in 1968 in which the artist combines panes of glass in varying scales and configurations. These large, colourful outdoor works respond intuitively to the dynamics of space and are transformed by the particular conditions of natural light at different times of the day. Capturing the distinctive properties of the colour red, Pacific Red (IV) exemplifies what Bell described as its ‘emotional input’. Combining cubes made with Red Poppy and Blush laminated glass sheets, the sculpture’s luminous reds, transparency and reflectiveness shift and morph in response to the sun, at times emitting an ethereal glow, which transforms into a red-hot blaze at other moments. An extraordinary sculpture, Pacific Red (IV) epitomises the unique magic of Bell’s lyrical experimentation with glass.

Year: 2017

Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: © Nick Turpin


Red Poppy and Blush laminated glass


182.9 x 244.5 x 244.5 cm

Artist Biography

Larry Bell

Larry Bell (b. 1939) is one of the most renowned and influential artists to emerge from the Los Angeles art scene of the 1960s, alongside contemporaries Ed Ruscha and Robert Irwin, and had garnered international repute by the age of 30. Known foremost for his refined surface treatment of glass and explorations of light, reflection and shadow through the material, Bell’s significant oeuvre extends from painting and works on paper to glass sculptures and furniture design. Bell’s understanding of the potential of glass and light allows him to expand visual and physical fields of perception, and his sculptures to surpass traditional bounds of the medium. He has said: ‘Although we tend to think of glass as a window, it is a solid liquid that has at once three distinctive qualities: it reflects light, it absorbs light, and it transmits light all at the same time.’