The Late Ken Price’s Metallic Sculptures Are “Strictly For Pleasure”
The last works created by the late American artist Ken Price (1935-2012) include a series of six large-scale abstract sculptures in glazed and painted metallic finishes.
The doughy-looking sculptures are constructed from fired clay, and are inspired by a range of things that piqued Price’s interest over his five-decade career. This includes items and matter found in nature, including wormholes and sludge; as well as the influence of erotic objects, surf culture, and Mexican-folk pottery. Some pieces appear as blatantly phallic, others as if molten lava, all made “strictly for pleasure”, asMatthew Marks Gallery, who has exhibited Price’s past works. “The bulbous forms of the last large sculptures are sanded to a smooth perfection and then lacquered in iridescent colors, that augment their seductive power”. In a posthumous tribute, The New York Times described Price as helping to elevate ceramics as an artform—now a universally popular craft—explaining that he “exploded the distinction between art and craft”.the artist explained. “For over fifty years Price was a constantly inventive artist, continually changing the forms, surfaces, colors, and shapes of his sculptures”, reads a statement by the