Matthew Marks is pleased to announce Ken Price: Large Sculptures, the next exhibition in his gallery at 522 West 22nd Street. The exhibition includes six works made between 2009 and 2011. This is the first exhibition solely devoted to Price’s large sculptures, many of which are being shown here publicly for the first time.
Famous for his diminutive sculptures, often small enough to hold in one’s hands, Ken Price had a long-term interest in making larger works. He made drawings as early as 1967 of his sculptures in the landscape in over life-size proportions. It was not until 2006, however, that he exhibited his first large work, the 7-foot-tall, Bulgolgi. By 2009, Price had finished three more large sculptures, and in the last two years of his life, before his untimely death in 2012, he completed five additional large sculptures.
For over fifty years Price was a constantly inventive artist, continually changing the forms, surfaces, colors, and shapes of his sculptures. The bulbous shapes of the last large sculptures, made at the end of his life, are sanded to a smooth perfection and then lacquered in iridescent colors that augment their seductive power. Alex Kitnick writes in his catalogue essay, “Price’s work shape shifts; it morphs. It always seems on the verge of turning into something else, of letting go, of relaxing or skirting across the floor. A contour of his could suggest almost anything.”
A fully illustrated hardcover book documenting the nine large sculptures Ken Price made between 2006 and 2011, and including an essay by Alex Kitnick, will be published to accompany the exhibition.
Ken Price was born in Los Angeles in 1935. In 1959 he returned to LA after studying on the East Coast and quickly became part of the emerging art community that had grown up around the Ferus Gallery. He had one-person museum exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1969); the Menil Collection, Houston (1992); the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1992); and the Chinati Foundation, Marfa (2004). In 2012, a major retrospective exhibition of his work opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The exhibition traveled to the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Last year, The Drawing Center, in collaboration with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, organized the first survey of Price’s works on paper, exhibiting 65 drawings spanning 50 years.