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Leland Bell

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Leland Bell

Leland Bell (September 17, 1922 – September 18, 1991) was an American painter.

Leland Bell was a self-taught painter whose passion for the discipline of painting has inspired and influenced many. He was also a fierce advocate for artists that he admired. In the early years of his career these included Karl Knaths, Jean Arp, and Piet Mondrian; in the mid-1940s his allegiance to abstract painting receded after he formed a friendship with Jean Hélion, and Bell subsequently became a champion of Hélion, Fernand Léger, Balthus, Alberto Giacometti, and André Derain.[1][2] Bell was also a jazz aficionado and drummer.[3]

In 1944 he married the painter Louisa Matthíasdóttir (1917–2000), whose figurative style influenced his work.[4] In contrast to Matthíasdóttir, who worked quickly, Bell labored over his paintings, sometimes for years.[4] The couple had a daughter, Temma, in 1945. The family divided their time between New York and Matthíasdóttir's native Iceland.

Bell was active as a painter, teacher, and lecturer. In 1987, he had a retrospective exhibition at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. He was diagnosed with leukemia in the 1980s, and died September 18, 1991.[5]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Perl, Jed, ed. (1999). Louisa Matthiasdottir. New York: Hudson Hills Press. p. 60. ISBN 1-55595-197-X
  3. ^ Perl, Jed, ed. (1999). Louisa Matthiasdottir. New York: Hudson Hills Press. p. 56. ISBN 1-55595-197-X
  4. ^ a b Perl, Jed, ed. (1999). Louisa Matthiasdottir. New York: Hudson Hills Press. p. 68. ISBN 1-55595-197-X
  5. ^ Perl, Jed, ed. (1999). Louisa Matthiasdottir. New York: Hudson Hills Press. p. 178. ISBN 1-55595-197-X

External links

  • NY times Obituary
  • profile
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  • career analysis
  • biography
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