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  Ken
Price
Ken Price is one of the most important sculptors to have emerged in Los Angeles in the past 50 years. Born in Los Angeles in 1935, Price grew up near the beach and spent his adolescence surfing nearly every day. The son and grandson of inventors, he was raised in an environment that encouraged his creative interests, leading Price to identify as an artist from an early age.

Price received a B.F.A. from the University of Southern California in 1956 and studied briefly with Peter Voulkos at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now Otis College of Art and Design) before receiving an M.F.A. from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred in 1959. Returning to Los Angeles, Price joined the stable of artists at the legendary Ferus Gallery, quickly establishing himself with several successful solo exhibitions.

As Peter Schjeldahl noted in an article for the New Yorker, Price's development as an artist has always been on his own terms:

Price emerged in the 1960s as the brilliantly contrary student of Peter Voulkos…Price eschewed Voulkos's virile expansiveness to work small, making exquisite egg shapes that sprout erotic, worrisome tendrils. He proceeded to develop abstract variations on cup, teapot, and vase forms with faceted asymmetrical compositions, glazed with primary colors, that are like pocket distillations—which turn monumental in memory—of modern style from cubism through De Stijl to minimalism.

Price also steadfastly refused to illuminate the meaning of his work, preferring instead to allow the art to speak for itself. At a talk he gave in 2005 at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, Price was quoted saying, “I can't prove my art's any good or that it means what I say it means. And nothing I say can improve the way it looks."

Price’s meticulous approach to object-making and his penchant for vibrant colors and unorthodox application methods marks him as a seminal Los Angeles artist, alongside Billy Al Bengston, Robert Irwin, Ed Ruscha, Larry Bell and Craig Kauffman.

First recognized in the early 1960s for his series of Eggs, described by Roberta Smith for the New York Times as “intensely colored ovoids punctuated with small openings from which slimy-looking forms might protrude, suggesting fingers, phalluses, worms or perhaps entrails,” his subsequent work demonstrated both diversity of style and fidelity to his artistic principles.

Although Price’s work may not adhere to the common stereotypes held about modern sculpture—that it should be large-scale, industrial and muted in color—his artwork nevertheless occupies an important place in art history. Peter Plagens, writing for the Wall Street Journal, illustrated Price’s distinction when he wrote, “the art of Ken Price is a lively link between the austerity of Minimalism (he never wasted a curve or a color) and the inclusiveness of postmodernism (his work can remind you of everything from Constantin Brancusi to American Indians to Japanese woodblocks), proving that in art there are no real ruptures, only intriguingly disguised continuities.”

Ken Price died on February 24, 2012, at his home in Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, just outside of Taos. He has exhibited widely and has work in many public collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Ken Price was featured in several Getty-sponsored “Pacific Standard Time” exhibitions in 2011-2012. At the time of his death, Price was working on a 50-year retrospective of his work for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. “Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective” will run at LACMASeptember 6, 2012 – January 6, 2013, after which time it will travel to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.




Museum Collections

Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York
Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico
American Craft Museum, New York
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas
Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York
Harwood Museum, Taos, New Mexico
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
J. B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky
Lannan Foundation, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
Menil Collection, Houston, Texas
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
M.H. de Young Museum, San Francisco, California
Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina
Museum of Arts and Design, New York
Museum of Ceramic Art, Alfred University, Alfred, New York
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California
Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Museum Overholland, Nieuwersluis, Netherlands
Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
National Gallery of Australia, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri
Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, California
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, California
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington
St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom
Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York



Selected Solo Exhibitions

2014     Ken Price: Cups, Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica, California
            Ken Price: Large Sculptures, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
            Ken Price: Specimen Rocks, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
2013     Ken Price: Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Works on Paper 1962–2010, The
                     Drawing Center, New York, will travel to: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo,
                     New York; and the Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, New Mexico (2014)  
            Ken Price: Zoo, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York
2012     Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective, Los Angeles County Museum of Art,
                     Los Angeles, California (forthcoming), will travel to: the Metropolitan Museum
                     of Art, New York (2013); and the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas,
                     Texas (2013)
            Ken Price, Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica, California
            Ken Price, Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Santa Monica, California
2011     Ken Price, “Death Shrine I” from “Happy’s Curios”, The Harwood Museum of Art,
                     University of New Mexico, Taos, New Mexico
2010     Ken Price, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
            Ken Price: Sculpture and Drawings, Works from the 1960’s and 1970’s, Nyehaus
                     and Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York
2008     Ken Price: Works from the Late '80s, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York
            Ken Price, LA Louver Gallery, Venice, California
            Ken Price: Sculpture, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
            Prints and Ceramics 1970 - 2005, Gemini G.E.L., New York
2007     Ken Price: New Work, Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, Belgium
2006     Ken Price: Sculpture and Drawings, 1962 – 2006, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
            Otis: Nine Decades of Los Angeles Art, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery,           
                     Los Angeles, California
            Early Cups and Related Works on Paper, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York
2005     Ken Price: Selected Works, Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica, California
            Ken Price: Works on Paper, L.A. Louver, Venice, California
            Ken Price: Sculpture from 2004, L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice, California
            Ken Price: Small Scale Sculpture, James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe,
                     New Mexico
2004     Ken Price: Works on Paper, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
            Ken Price: Sculpture, L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice, California
            Ken Price: Sculpture and Drawings 1994 – 2004, Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas
2003     Ken Price, Matthew Marks, New York
2002     Ken Price: New Work, L.A. Louver, Venice, California
            Ken Price, Rebecca Ibel Gallery, Columbus, Ohio
            Ken Price: Small Is Beautiful, University Art Museum, California State
                     University, Long Beach, California
            Ken Price: Talking Pictures, University Art Museum, California State
                     University, Long Beach, California
2001     Ken Price: New Work, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York
            Recent Sculpture, Klein Art Works, Chicago, Illinois
            Ken Price: New Work, L.A. Louver, Venice, California
            Ken Price: Recent Drawings, Off Main Gallery, Santa Monica, California
2000     Lumps, Bumps, Eggs and Specimens:Works from the 1960’s, Franklin Parrasch
                     Gallery, New York
1999     Ken Price, L.A. Louver, Venice, California
            Ken Price: Sculptures and Drawings, James Kelly, Santa Fe, New Mexico
1998     Ken Price: Sculpture, Hill Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan
            Ken Price: Selected Sketches and Drawings of Early Cups and Geometric
                     Sculptures
, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York
            Ken Price: New Work, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York
1997     Ken Price: New Work, L.A. Louver, Venice, California
            Ken Price, Johnson Community College Gallery, Overland Park, Kansas
            Ken Price: Recent Work, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York
1996     Ken Price, L.A. Louver, Venice, California
            Ken Price: Geometric Works 1972-1983, Franklin Parrash Gallery, New York
1995     Ken Price: A Selected Survey 1960-1995, Beaver College Art Gallery,
                    Glenside, Pennsylvania
1994     Ken Price: Career Survey, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York
            Ceramic Sculpture & Drawings, Harwood Foundation Museum of the
                    University of New Mexico, Taos, New Mexico
            Recent Sculpture, L.A. Louver, Venice, California
1992     Ken Price, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
            Ken Price, The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas  
            James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles, California
            Ken Price, Charles Cowles Gallery, New York
1991     James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1990     Sena West Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
1989     Ken Price, The Greenberg Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri, traveled to:
                    the Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, California; and to the Georges
                    Lavrov Gallery, Paris, France  
1987     James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1986     Willard Gallery, New York
            Fuller Goldeen Gallery, San Francisco, California
1985     Willard Gallery, New York
            Betsy Rosenfield Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
1984     New Ceramics, Texas Gallery, Houston, Texas
1983     Ken Price, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York
1982     Images and Objects: Works by Kenneth Price, Santa Barbara Museum of Art,
                    Santa Barbara, California
            Willard Gallery, New York
            James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1981     Ken Price: Selections from Happy’s Curios, Contemporary Arts Museum,
                    Houston, Texas
1980     Kenneth Price: Architectural Cups 1972-1974, Visual Arts Museum, New York
            Ceramic Sculptures, Texas Gallery, Houston, Texas     
            Betsy Rosenfield Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
            James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1979     Cups, Plates, and Drawings, Texas Gallery, Houston, Texas
            Hansen, Fuller, Goldeen Gallery, San Francisco, California
            Willard Gallery, New York
1978     Ken Price: Happy’s Curios, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles,
                    California  
            Gallery of Contemporary Art, Taos, New Mexico
1976     Ken Price, The Greenberg Gallery St. Louis, Missouri
            James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1974     Felicity Samuel Gallery, London, England
            Willard Gallery, New York
1973     Galerie Neuendorf, Hamburg, Germany
            Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1972     Fendrick Gallery, Washington D.C.
            Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, California
1971     David Whitney Gallery, New York, traveled to: Mizuno Gallery,
                    Los Angeles, California
            Galerie Neuendorf, Cologne, Germany
            Galerie Neuendorf, Hamburg, Germany
1970     Kasmin Gallery, London, England
            Ken Price: Figurine Cups, Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, California
1969     Kenneth Price Cups, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
            Mizuno Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1968     Kasmin Gallery, London, England
1964     Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1961     Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1960     Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles, California