Eight sets of smokey mirrored glass panels sit beneath the square lighting grid of the gallery. Set on a grey carpet to give the impression that they are floating, the 6ft square sheets of glass are not joined but their free-standing arrangement gives the impression of cubes, with multiple reflections of visitors bouncing from cube to cube, depending on the improvised setting that artist Larry Bell has made with the panels and their different coatings with Inconel (a nickel/chrome alloy).
American artist Larry Bell’s work is characterised by his experimentation of light and reflections on surfaces and here, at the White Cube in Bermondsey, other series of work are reflected in the polished concrete floor of the galleries. His “vapour drawings” created using the same coating process as the installation “6 x 6 An Improvisation” result in a variety of shapes and reflections, in some cases geometric stripes, in others abstract curves and ovals, but all with a contrast between solidity and transparency.
In the last gallery, there is a stepped change: here are bright colours in jagged and curved forms in Bell’s new “church studies” – collages created from multi-layered papers and films, some treated by his vapourising coating process. Two dimensional materials take on three dimensional characteristics as they flow like liquid and curve and interconnect with each other, their abstract forms suggesting human bodies, musical instruments, flowing fabrics or futuristic cities.