Gallery Hopping: Seeing All Sides of Ken Price at Hauser & Wirth
The survey features Ken Price's drawings, ceramics, and sculptures.
Hauser & Wirth have dedicated both their adjacent London galleries to a survey of Kenneth (Ken) Price’s work, one solely to his sculpture, and the other to his ceramics and his drawing.
A contemporary of Ed Ruscha and friend of Charles Bukowski, Price died in 2012. Despite his status as one of the most influential artists working with ceramics, the full scope of his work isn’t that well-known.
On the face of it, Price’s sculpture, drawing, and ceramics appear very different from each other, but on closer inspection, relationships between works emerge. There are strong themes of sexuality, surrealism, and unique uses of color and texture throughout Price’s work, as well as a precision and dedication to an aesthetic continuum that reveals a work ethic one might not expect of someone who partied with the likes of Dennis Hopper and Bukowski.
This exhibition of 130 works is extensive, in a way that allows the viewer to see Price’s work laid out as a whole. His wild and adventurous sculptural works are set out on plinths in a single space, highlighting the artist’s variety of form and color.
Price’s ceramic mugs are displayed in cabinets based on his own specific design, giving the impression of an exhibition of artifacts in a museum. From geometric forms, to animals, to erotic designs, involving both structure and illustrations onto the mugs, the scope of these works is huge, and this is a great opportunity to see so many side-by-side.
Price’s drawings are, at first glance, a clean, bright, deserted, yet instantly-recognizable Los Angeles. A closer look reveals a commentary on the environment with tsunamis and forest fires set against factories, modernist housing, and beachfronts. The combination is nothing short of poetic.
“Ken Price: A Survey of Sculptures and Drawings, 1959-2006” will be on view at Hauser & Wirth until February 4, 2017
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