Most commonly known for his Minimalist sculptures—transparent cubes that thrive on the interplay of shape, light, and environment; he helped to champion the ideas of the Light and Space Movement of the 1960s. Raised in Chicago, IL, Bell attended the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, CA, from 1957 to 1959, where he began experimenting with geometric forms and unusual materials as a student under Robert Irwin. Despite, Bell’s early success with Abstract Expressionist painting, a side job at a frame shop led him to experiment with excess scraps of glass, and began his fascination with the material’s interaction with light. He later purchased industrial plating equipment which allowed him to create sculptures with metallic-coated glass and, eventually created his drawings on mylar-coated paper. Bell is a grant recipient from, among others, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, and his artworks are found in the collections of many major cultural institutions such as :
The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo; Art Institute of Chicago; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Bell currently resides in Taos, New Mexico and maintains studios in Taos, New Mexico and Venice, California.