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Artists Leland Bell
Leland Bell Photo

Leland Bell

American Painter

Movement: Realism

Born: September 17, 1922 - Cambridge, Maryland

Died: September 18, 1991 - New York, New York, USA

Leland Bell Timeline

Quotes

"The artist's role is to invent rhythms and forms to reveal a deeper apprehension of reality for the viewer."
Leland Bell
"I want the shuffles and echoes, and a certain mysteriousness... It's so bloody hard to paint."
Leland Bell
"Of course the psychological thing is there - and is important - but you find psychological drama in just about anything you wish. That has nothing to do with the painting."
Leland Bell
"Everything... has to be resolved through rhythms. You're constantly massaging each form, trying to get it home, pushing further and further until these all coalesce into a marvelous kind of rhythm that reveals the life of the painting."
Leland Bell

Synopsis

Leland Bell, a post-war American painter, musician and instructor, defied categorization, creating works that were simultaneously classical, abstract, and representational. He set himself apart from his peers with a unique, rhythmic style that employed strong outlines, bold sections of color, and an engaging dynamism. Bell embraced the human figure as a primary subject when other artists were moving away from figurative representation. His artwork's exuberant take on everyday life did not conform to any one movement, making Bell distinctive within the art world.

Key Ideas

A former jazz drummer, Bell was drawn to the rhythmic movement in the artwork of Balthus, Alberto Giacometti, and Piet Mondrian, all of whom greatly influenced Bell's own aesthetic style.
Bell's most frequent subject was his own personal, domestic life. Unlike his contemporaries who sought to transcend or re-imagine the everyday world, Bell rejoiced in it.
Bell reworked his artworks numerous times, even after they were displayed or published, remaining passionate about painting as a continual process rather than a means to create a final product.

Biography

Leland Bell Photo

Childhood

Leland Bell was born in Cambridge, Maryland, in 1922, and grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn. As a young boy, he was interested in drawing, often copying Norman Rockwell's illustrations and pictures in cowboy books. He also earned extra money by drawing caricatures for people on the street. Bell's other passion, jazz, led him to frequent New York's jazz clubs. In high school, Bell's Russian-Jewish parents moved the family to Washington, D.C. where he occasionally cut class to copy the works he saw at Phillips Memorial Gallery (now the Philips Collection) and the Library of Congress, and was particularly drawn to works by Paul Klee and Thomas Eakins.

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Leland Bell Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Leland Bell
Interactive chart with Leland Bell's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Hans ArpHans Arp
Piet MondrianPiet Mondrian
Alberto GiacomettiAlberto Giacometti
André DerainAndré Derain

Personal Contacts

BalthusBalthus
Alberto GiacomettiAlberto Giacometti
Jean HelionJean Helion

Movements

De StijlDe Stijl

Influences on Artist
Leland Bell
Leland Bell
Years Worked: 1938 - 1991
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Louisa MatthiasdottirLouisa Matthiasdottir
Albert KreschAlbert Kresch
Gabriel LadermanGabriel Laderman
Nell BlaineNell Blaine

Personal Contacts

Thomas B. HessThomas B. Hess
Hilton KramerHilton Kramer

Movements


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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Rachel Gershman , Kate Beaver

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Rachel Gershman , Kate Beaver
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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