A prominent contemporary American artist, Ken Price is best known for his eclectic works throughout multiple mediums. A master of abstract, large-scale sculpture, Price was also an accomplished painted, print maker. He drew from a variety of influences, including Surrealism, surf culture, eroticism, folk art, and geology. A quintessential contemporary artist, Price was not fond of talking about the deeper meaning of his works and instead wanted the art to speak for itself: "I can't prove my art's any good or that it means what I say it means. And nothing I say can improve the way it looks."
Though he was a pioneer in terms of subject matter and compositional qualities, Price is perhaps most famous for his innovative techniques. Notably, Ken Price would use multiple layers of acrylic paint that he wound sand down (a technique he learned from surf shops) to reveal a blurred, soft color effect beneath.
Ken Price was born in 1935 and received his early education at the Chouinard Art Institute, the University of Southern California, the Otis Art Institute and Alfred University. Price knew from an early age that he wanted to be an artist, but stuffed to find his footing until a breakthrough show at Ferus Gallery in 1960. After that show, he became a prominent fixture in Los Angeles burgeoning mid-century art scene, alongside Ed Ruscha, Craig Kaufman, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, and Robert Irwin.
He would go on to become known for his large-scale abstract sculptures, including a full room 1978 LACMA exhibition titled "Happy's Curios."
Price passed away in Taos, New Mexico in 2012. Ken Price's art is included in the permanent collections of works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
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