NEW YORK––Matthew Marks Gallery presents Ken Price Sculpture (November 3 – December 22, 2018). Featuring 13 of the sculptor’s small-scale enigmatic ceramics, and one enormous, muscular lustre-painted composite Lying Around (2009), which is among Price’s largest works.
All the works in the exhibition come from the artist’s estate and date from the last two decades of Price’s life––at the height of his powers. Price’s exquisite clay objects are sophisticated, sensual, and “astonishingly beautiful in their perfection.” With obvious roots in pop culture and pop art, his mesmeric surfaces exude his Southern Californian upbringing.
From the gallery:
[One critic] wrote that Price’s sculpture of this period, “exalts color to practically metaphysical intensities.” Another wrote, “They are not just a high point in Price’s career; they represent a touchstone in the history of American art.”
The New York Times writes, “his last sculptures are his largest, weirdest and, with their wondrous surface patterning, prettiest.”
Their kinetic, curvilinear forms are effortlessly constricted by their own surface tensions––they’re simultaneously organic, yet energetically reserved; blobby, yet abruptly powerful.
As Price correctly perceived, diminutive doesn’t have to mean dinky. Imaginatively shaped, a very small object can seem more monumental than something many times its size.
Ken Price (1935–2012) was born in Los Angeles. His first one-person exhibition opened at LA’s legendary Ferus Gallery in 1960, when he was just twenty-five, and critics lauded his work for its originality. (Lucy Lippard wrote, “No one else, on either the east or west coast, is working like Ken Price.”) His work was on the cover of Artforum in 1963, and he had a one-person exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1969.
In later years Price had one-person exhibitions at the Menil Collection in Houston, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. In 2012 the Los Angeles County Museum of Art presented a retrospective of his work, which traveled to the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In 2013 the Drawing Center in New York, in collaboration with Buffalo’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery, organized the first survey of Price’s works on paper.
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