Larry Bell made his first paintings in the late 1950s while an art student at Chouniard. His early paintings were in the abstract expressionist style, as were many of his peers’ at the time. Robert Irwin was among his first painting teachers; friends and fellow students included Ed Ruscha, Kenny Price, Billy Al Bengston and Ed Moses. Among these fiercely independent young artists, Bell found creative motivation in the spirit of good humored competition and, in an attempt to develop a unique artistic style, he began making large geometric paintings using flat monochromatic color fields and shaped canvases that suggested three-dimensional forms. In 1959 he began adding glass to the paintings.