Charles Bell: The Complete Works, 1970-1990

Henry Geldzahler, Author, Louis K. Meisel, With ABRAMS $45 (144p) ISBN 978-0-8109-3114-5
The impact of contemporary artist Charles Bell's large-scale, gaudy photorealist paintings and drawings is diminished in their book-sized reproduction. Still, this retrospective faithfully catalogues Bell's hyperbolic, meticulously rendered glass gumball machines, gleaming pinball games, transparent marbles and antique metal toys complete with seams and chipped paint. Art historian Geldzahler's text quotes Bell at length on the evolution of photorealism and the illusions he creates. Art dealer Meisel, an exhibitor of Bell's work, discusses the artist's thematic preferences and technical progress over the past two decades, helpfully referring to specific examples within the volume; he praises Bell's knowledge of art history and his uncommon efforts to ensure the durability of finished canvases and paint surfaces. A carnival of colorful, strangely anxiety-inducing oils, watercolors, pastels and pencil sketches. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
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