Matthew Marks Gallery

Ken Price

Ken Price was a relentlessly inventive artist, continually changing the forms, surfaces, colors, and shapes of his sculptures throughout his five-decade career. During the 1960s and 1970s he made diminutively scaled works whose innovative and occasionally outlandish shapes subverted the functionality of traditional ceramics. In the 1980s and 1990s he jettisoned receptacle-like forms and traded his glazes for acrylic paint, which he often applied to his bulbous clay forms in layers before sanding them down to create unique variegated multicolor patterns. Toward the end of his life he began working at a much larger scale, one that speaks directly to the viewer’s body, his sculptures’ smooth surfaces lacquered with iridescent colors to augment their seductive power.

Price was also an extraordinary draftsman, making drawings throughout his career that are as inventive as his sculpture. “I’ve been drawing since I can remember,” he said. “I think sculptors learn to draw so that they can see what they’ve been visualizing.” Some of these drawings depict impossible sculptures, like a cup with a leaping frog for a handle, while others envision a whole world for his works to inhabit. Los Angeles, complete with palm-studded skylines and smog-filled skies, was often the subject of his drawings before he moved to Taos, New Mexico, in the 1990s and began producing wilder landscapes with erupting volcanoes and cyclonic skies.

Ken Price (1935–2012) was born in Los Angeles. His first one-person exhibition was 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 New York 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. Shortly after his death, 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.

Selected Works

Exhibitions

KEN PRICE
Pluto Ware

November 5, 2021–January 15, 2022

526 West 22nd Street
New York

KEN PRICE
Sculpture

November 3, 2018–January 19, 2019

523 West 24th Street
New York

KEN PRICE
Drawings

July 9–September 10, 2016

1062 North Orange Grove
7818 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles

KEN PRICE
Drawings

May 6–June 25, 2016

523 West 24th Street
New York

KEN PRICE
Large Sculptures

May 9–June 28, 2014

522 West 22nd Street
New York

KEN PRICE
Specimen Rocks

May 9–June 28, 2014

526 West 22nd Street
New York

KEN PRICE
Bulgogi

September 12–October 20, 2012

1062 North Orange Grove
Los Angeles

KEN PRICE

February 6–April 10, 2010

522 West 22nd Street
New York

KEN PRICE
Sculpture

December 22, 2007–January 26, 2008

521 West 21st Street
New York

KEN PRICE
Sculpture and Drawings, 1962–2006

September 23–November 4, 2006

522 West 22nd Street
New York

KEN PRICE
Works on Paper

November 6–December 24, 2004

521 West 21st Street
New York

KEN PRICE

September 20–November 11, 2003

523 West 24th Street
New York

Group Exhibitions

ALEX DA CORTE, TRISHA DONNELLY, KATHARINA FRITSCH, KEN PRICE, TERRY WINTERS

September 11–October 9, 2021

1062 North Orange Grove
Los Angeles

ONE HUNDRED DRAWINGS

November 8, 2019–January 18, 2020

523 West 24th Street
New York

THOMAS DEMAND, KATHARINA FRITSCH, ROBERT GOBER, BRICE MARDEN, KEN PRICE, MARTIN PURYEAR, CHARLES RAY, PAUL SIETSEMA, ANNE TRUITT, TERRY WINTERS

September 14–October 21, 2017

1062 North Orange Grove
7818 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles

VIJA CELMINS, THOMAS DEMAND, ELLSWORTH KELLY, KEN PRICE, PAUL SIETSEMA, REBECCA WARREN, TERRY WINTERS

February 6–April 16, 2016

522 West 22nd Street
New York

10 SCULPTURES

July 11–August 29, 2015

1062 North Orange Grove
7818 Santa Monica Boulevard
Los Angeles

WHAT NERVE!
Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present

July 8–August 14, 2015

522 West 22nd Street
526 West 22nd Street
502 West 22nd Street
New York

A DRAWING SHOW

October 4–November 29, 2014

526 West 22nd Street
New York

RECENT DRAWINGS
Robert Gober, Roni Horn, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Brice Marden, Ken Price, Charles Ray, Terry Winters

January 14–February 25, 2006

523 West 24th Street
New York

SOMETHING ANYTHING
An exhibition curated by Nayland Blake

July 2–August 16, 2002

522 West 22nd Street
New York

Books

KEN PRICE
Drawings

KEN PRICE
The Large Sculptures

KEN PRICE
Specimen Rocks

KEN PRICE

ONE HUNDRED DRAWINGS

Posters

SOMETHING ANYTHING
An Exhibition Curated by Nayland Blake

Editions

KEN PRICE
Western Sunset