Ken Price

August 31, 2012

American artist Ken Price is known for his revolutionary approach to contemporary sculpture. Born in Los Angeles, as a teenager he took music classes with jazz trumpeter Chet Baker and art classes at the Chouinard Art Institute. After graduating from the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now Otis College of Art and Design), in 1959 he completed the ceramics master’s program at the State University of New York at Alfred in only one year. He moved back to Los Angeles to exhibit his work at Ferus Gallery, where he achieved immediate success with his diminutive yet precisely finished sculptures. Price produced a diverse oeuvre, including his snail cups as well as various drawings, watercolors, and prints. Immense, witty, and colorful, his later sculptures are redolent of biomporphic forms in movement, achieving a remarkable fluidity. With influences as diverse as Oaxacan pottery and Josef Albers’ color squares, Price established sculpture as a legitimate form of high art through his unique approach to Finish Fetish abstraction. His work can be viewed in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Art, and the Stedelijk Museum in the Netherlands. In September of 2012, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art presented “Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective,” designed by Price’s lifelong friend, architect Frank Gehry.

Knight, Christopher. “Kenneth Price dies at 77; artist transformed traditional ceramics.” The New York Times, 25 Feb. 2012. Web. 30 Aug. 2012.

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