new-york

Ken Price

Matthew Marks Gallery

In 1960, at the tender age of twenty-five, Ken Price had his first solo show at Los Angeles’s storied Ferus Gallery. In both 1979 and 1981, he appeared in the Whitney Biennial, and he remains a staple of museum shows tracking LA’s contribution to twentieth-century art, most recently last summer’s “Los Angeles 1955–1985: The Birth of an Artistic Capital” at the Centre Georges Pompidou. Yet despite his otherwise impressive track record, Price has been the subject of exactly two museum surveys, in 1992 and 2004, and mention of his name tends to elicit vacant stares or tentative guesses at his significance. He is the consummate “artist’s artist,” widely respected but paradoxically little known.

Like, say, “Neo-Geo,” “Finish Fetish” is a label of convenience; Larry Bell, John McCracken, and Billy Al Bengston may all exhibit some concern for surface polish, but arguably more historically important

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