Los Angeles

Kenneth Price

Ferus Gallery

One of the most striking reaffirmations which this exhibit of recent sculptures brings to focus is that the most confident, self-assured, definite, talented and aggressive artists of any time have no qualms whatsoever about arriving at visual conclusions similar to the great artists of previous generations. The historical range of Price’s biomorphic abstractions is impressive. They range from thoroughly misplaced traditions of oriental ceramics to more obvious associations with Brancusi, Arp and Miró.

Whatever connections the critics can, and will, conjure, there are always two essential factors in Price’s sculptures that thoroughly mitigate any aspect of derivation to a relatively secondary consideration—little more than an interesting historical sidelight. The first of these is an absolutely uncompromising talent that, coupled with a relentless perfection of means and successful experimentation creates some of the finest pieces of our generation. The second is the affinity between the artist himself and his time. Therefore, the ageless tradition of organic forms is juxtaposed into the context of the most contemporary senses of color, materials and technical achievement. The integration is achieved so smoothly, with such understated subtlety and clarity of intention that the viewer feels that rarest and most valuable response to any work of art. Specifically, it is best described as perceptive participation, that compelling ability of an art object to involve the viewer in the fact of its existence. Drawn by the first sensations of clarity and simplicity, the works evolve into the host miraculous, complex and somehow devious entities that virtually seduce the viewer by tensions and actions that come very close to being an event. The thorough assimilation of their colors into their forms and vice versa is, perhaps, one of the most important aspects of the entire Prician oeuvre. And this, coupled with the artist’s interest in material experimentation has created an infinitely valuable contribution to contemporary sculpture.

Clair Wolfe