Just In: Ken Price’s Quiet “Riot”

March 24, 2016

LAMA’s May 22, 2016 auction of Modern Art & Design will feature an important work by Ken Price: L.A. Riot, a 1994 drawing in ink and acrylic on paper. Price is famed for his ceramic sculptures, and acclaimed as a groundbreaking master of the medium. But from the beginning, drawing was central to his artistic practice. “Drawing,” Price once said, “is a way of seeing what you’re thinking about.”

Ken Price L.A. Riot 1994
Lot 84, Ken Price, L.A. Riot (1994)
May 22, 2016 Modern Art & Design Auction

As a sculptor, what Price most often thought about was space, proportion, and dimension. He was captivated by cups, eggs, and other objects having both an interior as well as an exterior, which he frequently featured as the subjects of his artworks. L.A. Riot can be regarded as another such exploration of dimensionality.

The drawing investigates scale: a scene of violence and destruction on the television screen juxtaposed against the reality of events in the wider world, seen through the window. The space of the room mediates between the two. What Price creates on paper is, in essence, a three-dimensional object. “The two most powerful sizes,” Price once wrote, “are very small and very large.” L.A. Riot proves his point.

Dreishpoon, Douglas, ed. Ken Price: Slow Steady Wins the Race, Works on Paper 1962-2010. New York, NY: Drawing Center, 2013. Print. Pechman, Ali. “Exhibitions: Ken Price, Draftsman? The Drawing Center Showcases the Artist’s Works on Paper.” Artspace. Artspace, 1 July 2013. Web. 17 Mar. 2016.

Lot Information:

Lot 84
Ken Price
L.A. Riot
Ink and acrylic on paper
Signed and dated in graphite lower right margin of sheet
Composition: 10.5″ x 8.25″; Sheet: 15″ x 12″; Frame: 24″ x 20.5″

Estimate: $20,000 – 30,000

May 22, 2016 Modern Art & Design Auction

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