Emerging as a sculptor of clay in a time when clay was only exhibited as a decorative art, Ken Price was long considered the center of the L.A. avant-garde. In his later work, he challenged the definition of ceramics by applying acrylic paint instead of glaze to the clay surface. Not only did he reject traditional finishes, but his use of color was unprecedented—creating pieces that seem to be made of color.
Price never alienated ceramic tradition completely. He often referenced the space encompassed in traditional ceramic vessels by creating a cavity, hole, or hollow in his sculptural work. Price is instrumental in the interpretation of contemporary craft and largely responsible for the inclusion of ceramics in contemporary exhibitions.
Related artists in KMAC's collection:
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Permanent Collection: Recent Acquisitions
Barron, Stephanie, et al. Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2012.
Clark, Garth, and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Ceramic Millennium: Critical Writings on Ceramic History, Theory and Art. Halifax: Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 2006
Del Vecchio, Mark. Postmodern Ceramics. New York: Thames & Hud, 2001.
Lynn, Martha Drexler. American Studio Ceramics: Innovation and Identity, 1940 to 1979. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015.
Price, Kenneth, et al. Ken Price. New York: Matthew Marks Gallery, 2007.
Price, Kenneth, Menil Collection, and Walker Art Center. Ken Price. Houston: Menil Collection, 1992.
Price, Kenneth, Alex Kitnick, and Matthew Marks Gallery. Ken Price: The Large Sculptures. New York: Matthew Marks Gallery, 2014.
Surrounding the Void
Clay and acrylic paint. Courtesy of Mary and Rev. Al Shands.