Matthew Marks

Ken Price

23 Sep - 04 Nov 2006

Scluptures & Drawings, 1962-2006

September 23, 2006 - November 4, 2006
Location: 522 West 22 Street
Opening: Friday, September 22, 2006, 6:00-8:00 P.M.

Matthew Marks is pleased to announce an exhibition of sculptures and drawings by Ken Price, the next exhibition in his gallery at 522 West 22nd Street.

This will be the largest exhibition of Ken Price’s work ever held in New York. It will include a group of sixteen new sculptures as well as a retrospective selection of sculptures and drawings from the artist’s long career.

“Perhaps more than any other post-war American artist...Price has enjoyed the paradoxical ‘luxury’ of being simultaneously both celebrated and underappreciated for almost fifty years,” notes Matthew Higgs in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition. Ken Price has consistently produced exquisite, highly influential sculptures throughout his career.

The new sculptures are sensuous, fetish-like objects, each meticulously painted and sanded to create a rich, patterned skin with a jewel-like surface. This exhibition will include the artist’s first monumental sculpture, standing over seven feet tall and having the same brightly-colored, honed surface for which his sculpture is known.

The new sculptures are accompanied by a small selection of important earlier sculptures, the earliest of which, entitled Specimen, from 1963, was included in Price’s first museum exhibition, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Already his signature style is evident: small scale; vivid colors; peculiar, abstract forms derived from nature; and marked attention to display. Price works in series, and his style often changes dramatically every few years. Included are examples of his works from the later 1960s through the early 1990s, including his “slate” sculptures, his “geometric” period of the 1970s, and the large, bulbous forms with perforations from the late 1980s.

Ken Price is also a distinguished draughtsman, having made drawings in addition to sculptures throughout his long career. This exhibition will include a selection of over 30 works on paper made between 1963 and 2006, the majority of which are being shown for the first time. The drawings include watercolor, graphite, gouache, ink, and collage. They cover a wide range of subjects, corresponding to the enormous variety of Price’s three-dimensional works.

This exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue that includes an interview with Ken Price by fellow Los Angeles artist Vija Celmins, investigating his motivation and process and helping to contextualize his work in the California art community he helped to create, as well as an essay by curator and artist Matthew Higgs.

Ken Price was born in Los Angeles in 1935. In 1959 he returned to Los Angeles after studying on the East Coast and quickly became part of the emerging Los Angeles art community centered around the Ferus Gallery. He has exhibited his work regularly since that time, including one-person museum exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Menil Collection, Houston; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and, most recently, the Chinati Foundation, Marfa. Price lives and works in New Mexico and Los Angeles.

Ken Price: Sculptures and Drawings, 1962–2006 will be on view at the Matthew Marks Gallery, 522 West 22nd Street (between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues), through Saturday, November 4, 2006. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.

16 x 15 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches; 41 x 39 x 29 cm

Tags: Vija Celmins, Matthew Higgs, Ken Price