ken price


Ken Price (1935-2012) is an American artist and sculptor from Los Angeles. He is best known for his inventive and colorful aesthetic in both his ceramic and works on paper practices. Over his acclaimed five-decade long career, Price relentlessly experimented with new forms, shapes, colors, and ideas. 

After studying under the Abstract Expressionist ceramicist Peter Voulkos at the Otis Art Institute, Price completed his MFA at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1959. 

Upon graduation, Price quickly developed a distinct visual language for his ceramic sculptures. They resembled biomorphic blobs or alienesque amoebas, finished in psychedelic colors - some were even partially spliced open. These small-scale sculptures appear both cartoonish and erotic. His inspirations were imaginative and eclectic, drawing from the 60's counter-culture movements, surf culture, folklore, geology, and erotic objects. He is also considered a founding participant in the Finish Fetish movement.

By the early 1960's Price's inventive ceramic sculptures spearheaded a revolutionary shift in the tradition of ceramics, expanding them beyond functional usage into the realm of fine art. 

Throughout his career, Price maintained a prolific drawing and painting practice. These works on paper maintained a distinct and instantly recognizable visual style separate from his colorful clay sculptures. Although his sculptures often made appearances in many of his paintings which were completed in acidic colors against a flattened landscape.

Los Angeles, Price's hometown, played a key role in his drawings and paintings. Through his signature lenses-eye view, he depicted L.A. buildings, homes, and landscapes replete with bright colors, palm trees, and smog-filled skies. 

"House" is a paradigm example of Price's L.A. paintings. A fish-eye lenses frames a suburban home with a vibrant green lawn beneath blue skies. 

Fashion label Loewe created a capsule collection featuring Price's illustrations and paintings for Spring/Summer 2021. Intricately crafted accessories and clothing bare Price's escapist images in bold colors. 

Today Price's works can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the National Gallery of Art (Washington), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Smithsonian America Art Museum (NY).  

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

Untitled ("House")

USA, 1990

Acrylic, watercolor and colored pencil on paper

Signed and dated by the artist 

5"H 8.5"W (image)

14"H 16.5"W (framed)

Excellent condition

Exhibition History: 
"Ken Price: Works on Paper" at James Corcoran Gallery (Santa Monica, CA)
July 18 - September 8, 1992 (work #41 in the exhibition) 

Provenance: Hauser & Wirth

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