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Kenneth Price

Red

1962

Known primarily for ceramic sculpture, Kenneth Price used wood, an unusual material for the artist, to make Red. He has long incorporated orifices into his work to summon associations that are haptic, carnal, biological, and perceptual, employing them to make distinctions between outside and inside, substance and absence, as well as to remind viewers of the traditional and even functional uses of ceramics as vessels. Holes like that found in Red serve as contrasting figures to his sculptural grounds and introduce perceptual conundrums into the viewing experience. By inscribing a tightly ruled yet curvaceous shape on the face of a pristine red box, Price introduced a mysterious element into the straightforward geometric form.

Kenneth Price (b. 1935, Los Angeles; lives and works in Venice, California, and Taos, New Mexico)
Red, 1962
Painted wood
12 1/2 x 10 x 5 1/2 in.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Gift of Lannan Foundation

Some people think it’s some kind of trick if you work up or polish the surface; when I do that I’m trying to get a balance between form, surface, and color. I don’t see color as an afterthought or decoration. When my work is successful, there’s an organic fusion between the surface and the color. —Kenneth Price