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Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective
Exhibition traces the artist’s sculptural practice of more than 50 years and features gallery
design by Frank O. Gehry; on view February 9 through May 12, 2013.
The Nasher Sculpture Center is pleased to present Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective, a
groundbreaking exhibition featuring almost 100 works by the prolific ceramic artist, Ken Price
(1935-2012). On view at the Nasher from February 9 through May 12, 2013, the exhibition
traces the development of Price’s sculptural practice from his luminously glazed ovoid forms
to his suggestive, molten-like slumps, positioning him within the larger narrative of modern
American sculpture. This sculptural retrospective honors the late artist’s creativity, originality,
and revolutionary art practice.

“This brilliant exhibition demonstrates conclusively Ken Price’s position as one of the most
important sculptors of the past half century,” notes Nasher Sculpture Center Director,
Jeremy Strick. “Devoting himself to the sometimes maligned medium of ceramics, this
extraordinarily inventive artist created a unique body of work characterized by bright,
unusual color, surprising, often sensual form, and a sense of freedom and play
undergirded by formal rigor and an unstinting devotion to finish and detail. Price has
proven an influential figure for generations of artists, and that influence has been a
significant factor in the explosion of interest in ceramics notable among younger artists.
Perhaps more surprisingly, his often diminutive work has proved a powerful influence
to contemporary architects. For those familiar with Ken Price’s work, as well as those
discovering it for the first time, Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective will offer
astonishment and delight.”

The exhibition is organized by Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s senior curator of
modern art Stephanie Barron and is designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect,
Frank O. Gehry, a close friend of Price’s since the 1960s. Ken Price Sculpture: A
Retrospective was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
and, after its presentation at the Nasher Sculpture Center, will travel to the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (June 18 – September 22, 2013.)

Exhibition Overview
Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective moves the artist’s work outside of the realm of craft
and into the dialogue of contemporary sculpture. To situate his works within a sculptural
context, the exhibition is installed in reverse chronology. A rich selection of work from 1959
to 2011 highlights each of the major styles of his prolific career including slumps, rocks,
geometrics, cups, eggs, and mounds. While Price tended to progress in loose series, the
exhibition reviews his career in a broader and yet more integrated way, establishing
connections and linkages across the years, rather than in simple series. The exhibition
also includes displays of two of the units from his 1970s project Happy’s Curios. Named
after his wife Happy, Happy’s Curios were comprised of large cabinets, filled with
between eight and twenty or more ceramics mimicking the style of Mexican folk pottery.

The work from 1995 to 2011 highlights sculptures from the last years of his life. In this period,
Price began a new series of mottled sculptures, for which he has become most well-known.
The work’s surface is composed of roughly seventy layers of acrylic paint that he painstakingly
sanded, each stratum uncovered as he varied the pressure of his sanding. The result is a lyrical
composition of colors held together in a layered arrangement that is anthropomorphic.
Eleven works on paper and two large scale sculptures from 2011 to 2012 are also
included in the exhibition.
Ken Price Big Load, 1988 Fired and painted clay 12 1/2 x 15 1/2 x 17 in. Stéphane Janssen, Arizona © Ken
Price. Photo © Fredrik Nilsen
Sightings: Nathan Mabry
April 13 – July 7, 2013
To initiate a new year of its Sightings series of installations and interventions, the Nasher Sculpture
Center has asked Los Angeles-based artist Nathan Mabry to install works in the garden.  Inspired
by sources ranging from archaeology and ethnology to Dada and Surrealism, Mabry, in his
own words, “crashes” different aesthetics together, resulting in sculptures that are at turns
poignant, humorous, critical, and admiring.

For Sightings, Mabry will create a new sculpture based on an ancient terracotta Jalisco
figure in the Nasher Collection for the outdoor terrace, as well as install his group of six
figures based on Rodin’s Burghers of Calais, Process Art (B-E-A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E) – never
before shown in the United States – outside on the steps of the terraced garden.

Born in Colorado in 1978, Mabry received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his
MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles. His work is included in the collections
of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of
Art; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the Museum of Contemporary Art
San Diego, La Jolla.
Nathan Mabry, Two Vessels (Unpacked), 2013
Bronze, 84 x 48 x 48 in.
Courtesy of the artist Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles, and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, © Nathan Mabry,
Photo: Robert Wedemeyer