Ken Price

Ken Price

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Ken Price, Hunchback of Venice, 2000. Fired and painted clay, 14 ½ x 29 x 13 inches.
Dallas Price and Bob Van Breda, © Ken Price. Photo © Fredrik Nilsen.

September 12, 2012

Ken Price
Sculpture: A Retrospective

September 16 2012–January 6, 2013

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective, a groundbreaking exhibition featuring 100 works by the prolific artist Ken Price (1935–2012). On view in the Resnick Pavilion, the exhibition traces the development of Price’s sculptural practice, positioning him within the larger narrative of modern sculpture. This sculptural retrospective is designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank O. Gehry, a close friend of Price’s since the 1960s. After its presentation at LACMA, the exhibition will travel to the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (February 9–May 12, 2013) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (June 18–September 22, 2013).

Exhibition Overview
Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective moves the artist’s work, all made in ceramic, outside of the realm of craft and into the dialogue of contemporary sculpture. To situate his works within this context, the exhibition is installed in reverse chronology. The first gallery presents work from 2000 to 2011, including new sculptures from the last years of his life. The middle gallery displays work from 1959 to 2000 and highlights each of the major styles of his prolific career, including slumps, rocks, geometrics, cups, eggs, and mounds. Eleven works on paper and two large-scale sculptures from 2011 to 2012 are also presented in this gallery. Finally, the last gallery displays three of the units from his 1970s project Happy’s Curios as well as sculptures made in the last year of his life.

About Ken Price
Born in Los Angeles, Ken Price received his BFA from the University of Southern California (USC) in 1956 and his MFA from the famed New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1959. In the late 1950s, Price attended the Chouinard Art Institute and the Los Angeles County Art Institute (later renamed CalArts and the Otis College of Art and Design, respectively).

Price’s first exhibitions from 1960 to 1964 were at the Ferus Gallery. In the early 1970s Price moved with his family to Taos, New Mexico, where the predominant Mexican folk aesthetic inspired him to embark on Happy’s Curios (1972–77). Named after his wife Happy, Happy’s Curios were comprised of large cabinets, filled with ceramics appropriating the style of Mexican folk pottery. After the Curios, Price’s work in the 1980s became highly colorful and architectural, and returned to the more intimate scale of his eggs and cups.

From 1991 to 2001, Price was a professor of ceramics at USC. In 2002 Price and his wife returned to Taos, where they built a new home and an attached studio. Five years later, Price was diagnosed with cancer and, after going through treatments in Los Angeles, moved permanently back to Taos, where he remained until his death on February 24, 2012.

Exhibition Publication
The 288-page catalogue, Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective, is co-published by LACMA and DelMonico Books/Prestel, and features essays by Stephanie Barron, Frank O. Gehry, Phyllis Tuchman, and Dave Hickey, as well as a compilation of interviews with the artist from 1980 to 2011 by MaLin Wilson‑Powell. The catalogue introduces new photography of the sculptures in the exhibition, commissioned from Fredrik Nilsen.

This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It was made possible through major grants from the LLWW Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and The Aaron and Betty Lee Stern Foundation. Generous support for the catalogue was provided by The Shifting Foundation and Friends of Contemporary Ceramics. Marketing support by Matthew Marks Gallery.

Press contact
For additional information, contact LACMA Communications at or 323 857 6522.



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September 12, 2012

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