Franklin Parrasch Gallery is pleased to present Ken Price: Works from the Late ’80s, a survey of works Price created in Los Angeles, CA and Taos, NM between 1986 and 1989.
Ken Price first received national attention for his provocative glazed and painted ceramic sculpture in the early 1960’s. Exhibiting at the famed Ferus Gallery of Irving Blum in Los Angeles in three solo shows from 1960 to 1964, Price’s art gained admiration and respect from a vast range of fellow artists, many of whom acquired and drew inspiration from his work.
In 1992, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and The Menil Collection, Houston mounted a retrospective exhibition of Price’s sculpture, organized by legendary curator Walter Hopps. In a review of that exhibition, Time Magazine art critic Robert Hughes ebulliently referred to Price as “the Faberge of Funk.” This survey show reexamines the late 1980’s works that were fresh at the time of that retrospective and brings into current light their status and timeless significance within the larger conversation of contemporary sculpture.
The abstract orbicular forms which the artist has referred to as “blobs” jolt the eye with startling juxtapositions of color and black negative space. Multiple strata of colors which Price applied and painstakingly reduced span the exterior surfaces of these orb forms which are then “cut” into (in the manner of a core sampling), revealing planes of monochromatic surfaces which are themselves pierced by geometrically shaped void openings into the sculptures’ hollow cores. Price’s art moves to detach itself from the material elements of its composition, embracing a vocabulary of pure abstraction that virtually integrates color within three-dimensional form. As he recently commented: “I’m trying for an organic fusion of color with surface form.” In that sense the work in this show, unlike earlier ones, alludes to the perception of color as a substance in and of itself—just as with elements found in nature.
The nine sculptures included in this exhibition (dating from 1986 to 1989) trace the evolution and gamut of forms that came to define Price’s mature, signature style. Most of these works were originally shown in three galleries: Charles Cowles, New York; Greenberg, St. Louis; and James Corcoran, Los Angeles, which collectively represented Price at that time. This survey is the first exhibition in which Price’s work from that period has been exclusively focused upon since 1989.
Over the past five decades Price’s work has been featured in over ninety solo exhibitions nationally and internationally and resides in the permanent collections of over forty museums. Franklin Parrasch Gallery will publish a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by New Mexico-based writer Tom Collins that will be available September 2008. For images, biographies, and further information please contact the gallery.