Taos gallery exhibits Larry Bell's 9/11 works

Artist Larry Bell photographed in 2002 in his Taos studio.

If you’ve studied art history anytime since the early 1970s, you know of Larry Bell.

”In Taos, we know Larry as one of our own internationally acclaimed artists,” a press release states. “Earlier this year, Larry returned home from London after a sold-out exhibition at the White Cube. Shortly afterward, he was in São Paulo, Brazil, with another very successful show. After over 50 years of art-making, Larry is at the top of his game. Now, DAFA welcomes Mr. Bell back to the Taos gallery scene after a long absence.”

A exhibition of works by Bell, titled “9/11 and the Time Machine,” opens with a reception Saturday (July 5), 4-7 p.m., at David Anthony Fine Art, 132 Kit Carson Road. Featured in the show will be a viewing of Bell’s “Teeth in Orange Juice” series.

The series, which began with a different intention prior to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to Bell, “became the color of the fireballs, and the fragments of the papers and collage elements became the strange imagery that is seen in the works. The acrid greenish color of the dust and detritus in the air became part of the imagery also. My work became totally driven by the imagery and emotion of the incident and was totally emotional and intuitive … in the 30 days after the event I had made about 30 canvases with this kind of imagery on it.”

The collages are paired with the “Time Machine,” an installation of a reclaimed experiment from Los Alamos Laboratories, that compresses reflected and transmitted light so a reflected image is superimposed on whatever is transmitted through the glass of the sculpture. To Bell it suggests “the compression of the materials of the buildings on the casualties inside the structures as if the people had become parts of a flat collage.”

”The Time Machine,” paired with the canvases, creates the emotional and the intuitive surreal images of witnessing that event. Bell adds, “I like these works only because they are so totally honest. The only title I could think of for these odd images was “Teeth in Orange Juice.” So, “Teeth in Orange Juice” they are named, and on exhibit only for the second time in more than a decade.

Concurrently showing during Bell’s summer exhibition will be abstract works by Cody Riddle. Another Taos artist, Riddle has exhibited several times at the Harwood Museum of Art and was part of a 50-year retrospective of abstract expressionism at Hulse-Warmen Gallery in 2010. Not only will new painted works by Riddle be available, but also sculptural wall mounted works of vibrantly painted, ingeniously sliced branches of pinõn. At first look one is struck with the beauty of the organic sculptures, followed immediately by wonderment at how the work was accomplished. Stay tuned for a separate reception for Cody Riddle later this summer.

Both exhibits continue until Sept. 21.

David Anthony Fine Art (DAFA), located at 132 Kit Carson Road “presents the most innovative artworks from Taos and around the world, considering all genres, mediums and artists, in an environment that is accessible and welcoming to all.” Call (575) 758-7133 or visit dafataos.com.

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