Charles Bell - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York; The Aby Rosen Collection, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Gallery Henoch, Objects Observed: Contemporary Still Life, February – March 1990; Loretto, The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, The Post Pop Generation, June – September, 1990; New York, Louis K. Meisel Gallery, CharlesBell, November, 1991

  • Literature

    H. Geldzahler, Charles Bell: The Complete Works 1970-1990, New York, 1991, pp. 124-125 and cover (illustrated); L. Miesel, Photorealism Since 1980, New York, 1993, no. 188, p. 71 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Charles Bell, an acclaimed American Photo-realist painter specializing in the art of the still life, died from AIDS in 1995. Based in NewYork City and born inTulsa, Oklahoma, Bell created work distinguished by the fact that the subject matter depicted was on a scale as much as ten times life-size.The artist distilled his subjects from such popular artifacts as Raggedy Ann dolls, gumball and pinball machines, marbles, and other toys, always employing rich vibrant and bold colours. Bell sought to bring pictorial majesty and wonder to the mundane.
    The present lot, Miami Beach, from 1989 is one of Bell's best subjects. The glass-like surface of his oil rendering distinguishes itself for its photographic quality, and the largely enhanced scale of the pinball machine suggests another subject matter entirely removed from the game itself: one's eye focuses on the sheen of the ball, the glimmer of the lights, and the serial-quality of this intensely magnified version.The pinball series, critic Henry Geldzahler suggests, is "the artist's greatest achievement - visually, technically and technologically".
    (H. Geldzahler, Charles Bell: The Complete Works 1970-1990,NewYork, 1990).


Miami Beach

Oil on canvas.
152.5 x 213.4 cm. (60 x 84 in).
Signed and dated 'C. BELL '89' lower right.

£250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for £241,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

12 Feb 2009, 7pm