JOHN BELL

Born in Canton Ohio in 1967, John Bell’s child hood years were wrapped up in an obsession that would become his life long pursuit, art. Labeled “prodigy” at age 5 he was in private lessons rendering traditional figurative and still life charcoals and oils that bested older, more accomplished artists. “I believe artists are born, not taught” says contemporary, abstract artist John Bell.

After graduating with a degree in visual communication from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1987, he worked for a short time as an illustrator for Gem Studio’s in New York City. Returning to Ohio he landed a job as an art director for a prominent Cleveland ad agency. During that time he was honored with several prestigious industry awards; realizing that the ad world “was unsatisfying, to cut-throat and limiting to my other artistic pursuits” Bell explains.

For over 20 years Bell has continued to develop his current artistic style. It wasn’t until 2003; however that he decided that his work was ready for public exhibition where he participated in a group show. Within two weeks his paintings had all sold. Since then he has amassed an impressive body of work that employs multiple disciplines and creative expressions. His work combines the gestural elements of abstract expressionism with the linear qualities of geometric abstraction, the physicality and presence of large-scale modern sculpture, kinetics, pop art and the ideas about space addressed in modern architecture. “My themes and imagery are always evolving, reflecting the times both past and present.” says Bell.

Working in this way has paid off for Bell. His work has been placed in many prominent private collections throughout the east and west coasts. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including his West Coast debut in Long Beach, a solo exhibition and mural commission at Time Warner Center in New York City. He has been featured in Salt Lake City Magazine, hailed as an “artist on the rise”. He has received acknowledgements and reviews in Utah Style & Design, Salt Lake City Weekly, Artcotic.com, Fox 13 News, NY art world, and Artnet to name a few.
John currently lives life to the fullest in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Artist Statement

Being a very prolific and multidisciplinary artist, I am interested in exploring many different means of creative expression. Paining, print making, photography, sculpture, architecture and writing have all found their way into may work. My paintings illustrate my interest in combining elements of abstract expressionism, geometric abstraction, pop art, music, theatre, modern sculpture and the ideas and philosophies about space addressed in modern architecture.

I am always searching for a new pictorial language to add to my work. Once I finish with a set period of ideas and feelings, I have to find a new visual language to carry on, a new way to express an evolving sense of exploration and understanding by incorporating different forms and ideas into my vocabulary. Working in this manner allows me to reflect on a wide array of universal subjects including human success, loss, struggle, growth and identity.

Working in multidiscipline’s, I discovered that while they seem to be parallel pursuits, they inform and influence one another in many ways, eventually reaching a point where the lines blur and they become one. I like to think of this as the interconvertible nature of artistic expression, which is as vast and full of possibility as we are individual. In the future I will continue to explore and add to these pursuits, creatively investigating wherever my interests take me.

Solo Exhibitions

June 2010 – The Burden of Ambition, Brett Wesley Contemporary, Las Vegas, NV
July 09 – The Elegant Universe, Brett Wesley Contemporary, Las Vegas, NV
January 09 – Size Matters, Pop Shops, Salt Lake City, UT
June 08 – Survey, DDR Projects, Long Beach, CA
January 08 – The Sound & The Fury, Utah Arts Alliance, Salt Lake City, UT
March 07 – BUILDING ICONS, Patrick Moore Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT
September 05 – (re) Defining Space, Time Warner Center, New York City, NY
April 05 – Defining Space, ONE Modern Art, Salt Lake City, UT
February 05 – 24 Hours, Artisan Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT
July 04 – Untitled, Evening Editions Press, Salt Lake City, UT
May 04 – Drinking, Dancing & Smoking with the Muse, Chroma Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT

Group Exhibitions

April 2010 – Modern Values, Mondo Fine Art, at Lightspot Modern, Salt Lake City, UT
December 09 - Not Just Another Pretty Face, salon & holiday show, Salt Lake Art Center, Salt Lake City, UT.
December 09 – Small Works, juried show, Jill Dawsey, chief curator of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Kayo Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT.
November 09 – Snap To Grid, Los Angeles Center For Digital Art, Los Angeles, CA
June 09 – Not Just Another Pretty Face, gala & exhibition, Salt Lake Art Center, Salt Lake City, UT.
April 09 – The Truth of Abstraction, Patrick Moore Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT.
February 09 – Digital Art, Phillips Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT.
January 09 – Love and Power, Brett Wesley Contemporary, Las Vegas, NV
December 08 – Holiday Group Show, Phillips Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT.
December 08 – The Artist Fair, booth exhibition; Art Basel, Miami, FL.
October 08 – 5×5, Salt Lake Magazine’s, 5 On the Rise, Phillips Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT.
May 08 – Untitled, Utah Arts Council, Rio Grande Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT
February 08 – 3rd Annual SLCC President’s Art Show; Library Square Center, Salt Lake City, UT
December 07 – Holiday Group Show; Phillips Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT
July 07 – 1+1 = 14, Artisan Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT
August 05 – Utah Art’s Council, Rio Grand Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT
December 04 – White-Out, curatorial artist, ONE Modern Art, Salt Lake City, UT
October 04 – Featured artist; grand opening of ONE Modern Art, Salt Lake City, UT
August 04 – Utah Arts Council, Mixed media, works on paper; juried selection, Kimball Art Center, Park City, UT
June 03 – Chroma Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT

Bibliography

2010

Keene, Jarret, cover article, photos, interview, Beyond Pop, The man and the message behind the paint, A&E, Seven Weekly Magazine, Las Vegas, pgs.77-78, July 22nd

Staker, Brian, photo, editorial, Miniature Arting, Contemporary Maters Makes Modern art playful, City Weekly, Visual Arts, pg.18, July 22nd.

Fulton Ben, photo, editorial, Golfing Beyond the Game, Contemporary Masters, Salt Lake Art Center, Salt Lake Tribune, Utah, pg. B1 July 13th & Lifestyle, Salt Lake Trib online, July 12th.

Kiraly, Andrew, photo, exhibition mention, The Burden of Ambition, Brett Wesley Gallery, Desert Companion, A & E. pg. 64.

Kenway, Jenessa, photo, editorial, John Bell, The Burden of Ambition, Las Vegas City Life online, July 5th.

Alvarez, Brian Paco, exhibition mention, July First Friday is Sizzling Hot, The Burden of Ambition, Brett Wesley Contemporary, Las Vegas Arts & Culture online, July 2nd.

Vice, Jeff, photo, editorial, Salt Lake Art Center doubles as miniature golf course, Deseret News online, June 24th.

Fulton, Ben, photo, editorial, Swing Into Art, Contemporary Masters, Salt Lake Art Center, Salt Lake Tribune, Visual Art Notes, pg. D8, June 20. Lifestyle, Salt Lake Trib online, June 21st.

Staker, Brian, video interview, Putt putt for par, Contemporary Masters at the Salt Lake Art Center, The Stake Out, City Weekly online, June 19th.

Renshaw, Scott, photo, editorial, Contemporary Masters at the Salt Lake Art Center, The Essentials, City Weekly pg. 24, June. 17th.

Stringer, Jacob, photo, editorial, Contemporary Masters at the Salt Lake Art Center, City Weekly.net., June 17th.

Nevada Public Radio, KNPR’s State of Nevada, interview, First Friday Artist John Bell, The Burden of Ambition, airdate June 4th.

KLAV Radio, The Talk of Las Vegas, interview, The Burden of Ambition, Brett Wesley Contemporary; Grogan’s Tavern, a Cultural Watering Hole, airdate June 3rd.

Christensen, Miaken, Mondo Fine Art, video profile, John Bell, mondofineart.com, April 9th.

    Spy Hop’s Alumni Media Studio, video feature, John Bell, Face Off at the Urban Gallery, vimeo.com, February 23rd.

    2009

    Photo, editorial, Art Basel, Aqua Art Miami & Gen Art Vanguard, Bell’s “Bail Out” The Lead, Miami, December 2nd, pg.20. Staker, Brian, photos, editorial, 337 Project Face Off at the Urban Gallery, City Weekly, June 11th.

    Nailen, Dan, video blog, 337 Project, Urban Face Off at Neighborhood House, June 12th, Salt Lake Magazine online

    Trotter, Emma, photo, feature article, Brett Wesley Gallery Home is Where the Art Is, Las Vegas Luxury, April.

    Staker, Brian, exhibition photo, feature article, Visual Arts, The Bell Curve: Artist John Bell continues thinking “like a builder”, City Weekly, January 22nd, pg. 23

    Exhibition photo, “John Bell at The Grand Opening of The Pop Shops”, 337 Project.org, online, January 16th

    Hampton, William, editorial exhibition photos, Bell’s Size MattersImpulsive art”: In Utah This Week, print and online, January 15th pgs.  22-23

    Nailen, Dan, video blog; interview with artist “Size Matters” at The Pop Shops, Salt Lake Magazine online, January 12th

    Fulton, Ben, Photo, exhibition mention, “Thinking Big in SLC,” Salt Lake Tribune, Visual Art Notes, January 11th pg. d2

    Widlansky, Tiffini, Gallery Spotlight, Pop Shops “Change is Good”, Bell’s “Size Matters”, Artists of Utah, 15 bytes online, January 8th

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      Staff Pick of the Day, photo & acknowledgement; Bell’s “Size Matters”, Pop Shops, Salt Lake Magazine online, January 6th

      2008

      Checkoway, Julie, photo, “John Bell at Phillips Gallery 5×5 show”, Salt Lake Tribune, Visual Art Notes, Oct 12th, pg. D8

      Hogan, Donia, Photo, “Phillips Gallery Presents Salt Lake City’s 5 artist’s on the rise,” Deseret News, Visual Arts, October 12th pg. E2

      Fields, Melissa, photo, editorial, “5 Artists on the rise”, Salt Lake Magazine, Sept/Oct. pg.6

      Photo’s, editorial, “John Bell: Artcotic and DDR Projects”, Juxtapoz art & culture online, June.

      Cleveland, Craig, photos & interview, “John Bell the Artist”, Artcotic.com artist showcase, June.

      John Bell’s “Survey” at DDR Project,  ArtSlant online,

      Photo, “Survey” The work of John Bell at DDR Projects, White Hot magazine online June.

      Kolb, Leif, cover, photos, feature article & interview “Self Portrait”, Arkade Magazine, May, pgs. 44-51.

      Exhibition photos, John Bell’sThe Sound & The Fury” at Utah Art Alliance & Midnight Records, In Utah This Week, January 4th, pg.7 & 8.

      Lolita, Nikolova, PhD, interview photos & exhibition feature, “John Bell with his crowd”, Salt Lake Downtown, January 4th

      On camera interview & exhibition feature, “The Sound & The Fury, at Utah Arts Alliance, Fox 13 News, Good Day Utah, airdate January 2nd

        Museums, Fairs

        June 2010 – Contemporary Masters, artist-designed miniature golf, 337 Project & Salt Lake Art Center, sculpture commission.
        December 09 – Aqua Art Fair, Art Basel, Cancio Contemporary, Miami, FL.
        June 09 – The Urban Face Off, 337 Project, mural commission/competition, Salt Lake City.
        May 09 – Spring Art Affair, regional juried exhibition, Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art, Las Vegas, NV (curated by Elizabeth Herridge, Director, Guggenheim Hermitage Museum)
        December 08 – The Artist Fair, Art Basel, Miami, FL
        April 06 – Mural Commission, Time Warner Center, New York City, NY.

        Collections

        June 2010 – Salt Lake County Government Center, Salt Lake City, Utah.

        Guest Lectures/Workshops

        March 2010 – Utah Museum of Fine Art, Foster Art Program, Salt Lake City, UT, presentation, discussion on work inspiration, and creation of new, original genre.
        April 2010 – Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, UT, presentation discussion Q&A, on working process, work inspiration and creation of new, original genre.