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"Ken Price: Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Works on Paper, 1962-2010" opens at the Drawing Center
Ken Price, Specimen, 1964. Graphite and colored pencil with adhesive tape on cream wove paper tipped to two-ply mat board, 7 ½ x 9 ¼ inches (19.1 x 23.5 cm). Art Institute of Chicago, Margaret Fisher Endowment 2007.14

NEW YORK, NY.- The Drawing Center presents Ken Price: Slow and Steady Wins the Race, Works on Paper, 1962–2010, the first comprehensive survey of drawings by the sculptor Ken Price (1935–2012). A selection of 65 works on paper tracks Price’s dedication to drawing for more than 50 years and demonstrates his ongoing exploration of the medium. This exhibition opened concurrently on June 18 with the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s presentation of the traveling retrospective of Price’s sculpture that originated at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Douglas Dreishpoon, Chief Curator at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, organized Slow and Steady Wins the Race, which will be hosted at the Albright-Knox from September 27, 2013 to January 19, 2014, and at the Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, New Mexico, from February 22 to May 4, 2014.

A Los Angeles and Taos–based sculptor, Price sustained a quiet storm of intense creativity with drawing that until recently remained under the art world’s radar. Drawing has a time-honored status among sculptors as an expedient way to dream on paper without having to worry about an idea’s material realization. For years Price drew with no audience in mind. Drawing functioned early on as a means to explore multiple themes, some decidedly sculptural, to visualize an object’s physical properties and presentation, and, in some instances, to determine if it was worth tackling in clay. Drawing also functioned from the start as a way to relax, to stretch out and improvise imaginary scenes, and, at times, to fantasize. Price always approached drawing as an independent endeavor with its own inherent challenges and rewards.

This long-overdue exhibition—the first museum retrospective devoted to the artist’s work in New York—showcases the artist’s unique and groundbreaking approach to sculpture. Including the full range of Price’s innovative work, with 62 sculptures dating from 1959 to 2012, and 11 late works on paper, the exhibition aims to situate his art beyond the realm of craft and into the larger narrative of modern sculpture. The show also traveled to the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, where it closed May 5, 2013. The artist’s close friend, the architect Frank O. Gehry, designed the exhibition at all three venues.

Ken Price (1935–2012) was born in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, on February 16. He enrolled in his first ceramics course at Santa Monica City College in 1953, a year after he took classes in life drawing and cartooning at Chouinard Art Institute (now California Institute of the Arts). His notion of ceramic sculpture evolved significantly during his studies with Peter Voulkos, from 1955 to 1957, at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (later Otis Art Institute). In 1959 he received an MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He had his first solo exhibition in 1960 at the now legendary Ferus Gallery. Since then Price’s work has been extensively published and exhibited nationally and internationally. In 1992 Walter Hopps, director of the Menil Collection, Houston, organized a prescient survey of his sculptures. In 2004, the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas, mounted an exhibition of sculptures and works on paper from 1994 to 2004. Before the sculptor died on February 24, 2012, he had given his blessing to two retrospectives: the one organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which opened last September, and the other, the upcoming exhibition, jointly organized by The Drawing Center and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

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June 19, 2013

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