Standing Walls II

1968 - 2016

© Larry Bell / ADAGP, Paris 2022.
Pinault Collection. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

6 grey glass panels and 7 clear glass panels. 243.8 × 182.8 × 1.27 cm (each).

The visual and physical perception of Standing Walls II (1968–2016), provides an immersive experience. Deliberately disrupting the structure of the cube, the artist arranges thirteen walls of clear and gray glass in a zigzag pattern, thereby creating a spatial ambiguity. In doing so, he combines both direct and peripheral vision, favoring a three- dimensional “atmospheric illusion”, reinforced by subtle chromatic gradations. Faced with the semi-reflective panels, the viewer’s reflection appears while disappearing, as if his or her image were captured and absorbed by the dullness of the surfaces, transporting them into a ghostly world. Standing Walls II updates the power of the lure, of the simulacrum, making it difficult to distinguish between the real and the virtual, as the reflections and the surrounding spaces merge and one’s own gaze and that of others become superimposed. Thus, the fragile reflections of these monumental sculptures demonstrate that the human figure is only passing through: “The question of the appearance and disappearance of the human figure,” writes Marie de Brugerolles, “runs through all of Larry Bell’s work. It is the connection that animates the surfaces, illuminates the shadows, and disrupts the viewer.” Faced with Larry Bell’s strange mirrors, silhouettes appear and then disappear like ghosts.