The Price Is Right — and Right Now

One of the most captivating exhibitions ever of contemporary ceramics lands at the Nasher Sculpture Center this month: “Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective,” organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This exhibition firmly places the late West Coast master (1935 – 2012) in the realm of contemporary sculptors eschewing a narrow decorative arts definition. Long before Chihuly broke free of the confines of craft, the L.A.–born Price was showcased in serious galleries and accepted by museum curators, including Walter Hopps, who gave the artist early exhibitions at the Ferus Gallery, then surveyed Price some 30 years later in an important traveling solo organized by The Menil Collection. A former professor of ceramics at USC, Price spent the final decade of his life in Taos, where he continued to push and probe the possibilities of fired and painted clay. This definitive retrospective encompasses nearly 100 works, spanning 1959 through 2012, and will reveal in-depth the artist’s signature, often riotously pigmented series, including rocks, geometrics, cups, eggs and the 70-layered mottled mounds and slumps. Architect Frank Gehry, a friend and fan of the ceramicist for more than 50 years, specially designs the exhibition. February 9 through May 12 at the Nasher Sculpture Center;

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