MUST-SEE | “LARGE SCULPTURES” BY KEN PRICE AT MATTHEW MARKS, NYC
The late sculptor Ken Price was a seminal LA artist whose first solo show was in 1960 at the legendary Ferus Gallery where he quickly became part of a developing art movement that included artists such as Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, John Altoon, John McCracken, Robert Irwin and Ed Ruscha. Price would have three solo shows during the short time Ferus was open, and by the mid-1960s was a fixture in the rapidly-developing west coast art scene.
Said price of his beginnings in the LA art world: “When I started out in L.A. in the late fifties there was no art scene at all really. I mean there was an art scene in New York, but there wasn’t one in L.A. There were hardly any galleries. The museum was downtown and it didn’t endorse contemporary art. And there were only about three viable art publications. The local newspaper critics didn’t like us at all. There weren’t any collectors, really very few. We made few sales, and for little money when we made them. But the people I knew were totally committed. And so was I. I was confused about a lot of things at that time, but not about being an artist. I knew that’s what I had to be. And then later, around the mid-sixties, the whole scene cooked up: galleries, museums, foundations, art schools, and you know, lots more artists.”
Famous for his diminutive sculptures, often small enough to hold in one’s hands, Ken Price was long interested in making larger works. As early as 1967 he made drawings of over-life-size sculptures set in imaginary landscapes. It was not until 2006, however, that he exhibited his first large work, the seven-foot-tall Bulgolgi. By 2009 he had finished three more large sculptures, and he completed five additional large sculptures before his untimely death in 2012.
The current show “Large Sculptures” at Matthew Marks Gallery in NYC includes six extraordinary large works made between 2009 and 2011. Surprisingly, it is the first exhibition devoted solely to Price’s large sculptures, many of which are being shown here publicly for the first time, making the show a must-see…
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