1935 - 2012


Ken Price was one of the most important sculptors and printmakers to have emerged in Los Angeles in the past fifty years. He first gained prominence in the 1960s as one of the artists of the iconic Ferus Gallery, alongside Larry Bell, Ed Ruscha, and John McCracken. Price first differentiated himself by choosing to work small, primarily 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. He carried his preference for the small but dynamic into his printmaking, often using the imagery of landscapes and commerce as foundations for his boldly colored graphic pieces.

 

Price received a B.F.A. from the University of Southern California in 1956 and studied briefly at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now Otis College of Art and Design) before receiving an M.F.A. from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred in 1959. Since his first solo exhibition at the Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles, in the 1960s 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. Price’s work was the subject of a major retrospective in 2012 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, designed by architect Frank O. Gehry.