Museum Director Marcelle Giving a Press Preview

Milwaukee Art Museum Announces New Winter Series, Presents Immersive Work by Larry Bell in January

Posted on December 7th, 2023


A seasonal installation of Iceberg (2020) by contemporary artist Larry Bell will activate Windhover Hall in the Museum’s Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion

Iceberg by Larry Bell
Larry Bell, Iceberg, 2020. Cornflower Blue, Spa, Blush, and Lagoon laminated glass. Dimensions variable; 4 parts (each): 96 x 170 x 43 in. (243.8 x 431.8 x 109.2 cm). © Larry Bell. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Genevieve Hanson

MILWAUKEE, WI—December 7, 2023—This January, the Milwaukee Art Museum will launch its new Winter Series—an annual presentation highlighting works of art inspired by nature in the grand, light-filled Quadracci Pavilion—with the inaugural installation of Larry Bell’s Iceberg. The monumental piece made by the renowned artist in 2020 will be on view January 13–March 10, 2024, connecting the atrium of the Quadracci Pavilion’s Windhover Hall to its seasonal surroundings. Larry Bell’s Iceberg is free and open to the public.

A leading member of the California Light and Space Movement, Larry Bell (American, b. 1939) is known for his innovative sculptural experiments with light and perception, primarily through the medium of glass. By exploring its surface effects—how glass simultaneously reflects, absorbs, and transmits light—Bell produces spatial ambiguities that vacillate between the material and immaterial. Part of the artist’s Standing Wall series, which he began in the late 1960s, Iceberg includes four zig-zagged, free-standing panels—each seven feet tall at its pinnacle—made from two sheets of clear glass between which color film is placed. It will be set against the backdrop of the ever-changing Lake Michigan during the coldest months of the year, evoking the shape and shifting tones of floating ice forms and, incidentally, the effects of a changing climate.

Iceberg presents visitors with a perceptual experience that shifts in response to their vantage point, the light and time of day, and the colors of the lake and sky just beyond, reminding visitors of the power of viewing art in person,” said Elizabeth Siegel, chief curator at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

This installation continues the Milwaukee Art Museum’s longstanding relationship with Bell. The Museum’s collection is home to three untitled sculptures made by the artist, having acquired its first piece in 1970 within a year of its creation. It is also home to works that Bell created in 1965 and 1972.

“Welcoming visitors to engage with innovative contemporary art is vital to our mission at the Milwaukee Art Museum,” said Marcelle Polednik, PhD, Donna and Donald Baumgartner Director. “As a public gathering place that is open to all, Windhover Hall is an ideal setting to kick off the annual Winter Series. Visitors will be able to revel in the perception-altering forms of Iceberg, all the while reflecting on the austere beauty of winter on view within and outside the Museum.”

Sponsors

The Milwaukee Art Museum extends its sincere thanks to the Visionaries:
Mark and Debbie Attanasio
Donna and Donald Baumgartner
Murph Burke
Joel and Caran Quadracci
Sue and Bud Selig
Jeff and Gail Yabuki and the Yabuki Family Foundation

About Larry Bell

Internationally renowned, Larry Bell (American, b. 1939) is one of the most prominent and influential artists to emerge from the Los Angeles art scene of the 1960s. First exhibiting with the Ferus Gallery in 1962, Bell quickly became a leading member of the California Light and Space Movement. He is known foremost for his refined surface treatment of glass and innovative experiments with the properties of light, and his diverse and prolific production pioneers a new approach to contemporary sculpture and perceptual phenomena. Glass is a material central to his practice; through it, he generates spatial ambiguities based on the varying ratios of light reflected and transmitted by the surfaces, creating fleeting sensory experiences of changing color and light that give form and physicality to the otherwise intangible. His sculpture moves beyond the traditional bounds of its medium, exploring the elusive nature of three-dimensional objects in phenomenological space, seeking ever more powerful ways to make the material and immaterial converge.

About the Milwaukee Art Museum

The Milwaukee Art Museum is an essential destination for art and architecture and a vital cultural resource that connects visitors to dynamic art experiences and one another. Housed in iconic buildings by Santiago Calatrava, Eero Saarinen, and David Kahler on a 24-acre lakefront campus, the Museum is Wisconsin’s largest art institution and home to both broad and deep collections, with exceptional holdings in American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; conceptual and minimalist art; prints and drawings; European art from the Renaissance through the nineteenth century; photography and new media; modern and contemporary design; folk and self-taught art; and twentieth-century Haitian art. A bold symbol of Milwaukee’s ambition and forward-thinking vision, the Museum is a place for community building, education, and celebration, that fosters creativity and critical discourse for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. For more information, visit mam.org.

Media Contact

For more information or to request images, please contact:

Local media:
Cortney Heimerl / Lindsey Wurz
Milwaukee Art Museum
cortney.heimerl@mam.org / lindsey.wurz@mam.org
414-940-0490 / 414-224-3865

National media:
Hannah Holden / Meg Fennelly
Resnicow and Associates
hholden@resnicow.com / mfennelly@resnicow.com
212-671-5154 / 212-671-5181