Ken Price  (American, 1935-2012) 

Ken Price (American, February 16, 1935–February 24, 2012) was a ceramic artist and printmaker, well-known for his Abstract clay figures and prints. Price was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He knew from an early age that he wanted to be an artist, and enrolled in his first art ceramics class at Santa Monica City College in 1954. He quickly became a fan of the formal craft techniques of Marguerite Wildenhain (French, 1896–1985). Later, Price attended the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, and received a BFA from the University of Southern California in 1956. He went on to earn an MFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1959.

Price developed his interest in Mexican pottery while living along the Pacific coast in the 1950s. Much of his work at USC was characterized by the functionality that he found while visiting curio shops during surfing trips along the coast. Price developed his unique glazing techniques while at Alfred University. Returning to California in 1960, Price became a part of the developing Los Angeles Contemporary Art scene that included Larry Bell (American, b. 1939), John Altoon (American, 1925–1969), and Robert Irwin (American, b.1928). His first show was held at the Ferus Gallery.

Over the years, Price became known for his use of colors and odd shapes in the sculpting of cups, and he eventually progressed to larger pieces. Using his love of Folk Art and whimsy, Ken Price produced a well-known brightly-hued body of work entitled Happy's Curios (1978). The work drew heavily on his appreciation of the low Folk Art of coastal California towns as well as Taos, NM, where had relocated. During this time period, Ken also created his Geometric Cup Series (1970s). In his later years, Price returned to California and was a professor at USC in the art and ceramics department. Price moved away from cups, and, at the time of his death, he was primarily working in larger Abstract forms. In honor of the artist, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has one of his final works, Zizi (2011) on display in the lobby of its Ahmanson building. Price's works can be found at many museums around the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, CA.

Find Ken Price artworks for sale worldwide, artworks that sold at auction, a detailed biography, and more information on the artist below.
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Ken Price, Figurine Cup I


Ken Price
Figurine Cup I

Ken Price, Unit 6 from Happy's Curios


Ken Price
Unit 6 from Happy's Curios

Kayne Griffin Corcoran
Ken Price, Humpback


Ken Price

Kayne Griffin Corcoran
Ken Price, Untitled


Ken Price
Ken Price, Coffee Shop at the Art Institute


Ken Price
Coffee Shop at the Art Institute

Adam Baumgold Gallery
Ken Price, Fireworm Cup


Ken Price
Fireworm Cup

Ken Price, Bulgogi


Ken Price

Matthew Marks Gallery
Ken Price, Crabcup Miniature (From Eighteen Small Prints)


Ken Price
Crabcup Miniature (From Eighteen Small Prints)

Bernard Jacobson Graphics
Ken Price, Deep in the Desert


Ken Price
Deep in the Desert

Matthew Marks Gallery
Past auction results (197)  View All
Ken Price, The Fireworm Cup


Ken Price
The Fireworm Cup, 1991
prints and multiples, sculptures, ceramic edition


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Ken Price, Big Load


Ken Price
Big Load, 1988
fired and painted clay


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Ken Price, Pink Egg


Ken Price
Pink Egg, 1964
glazed and painted ceramic, artists painted wood pedestal


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1935   Born in Los Angeles, CA
1956   BFA, University of Southern California
1957   Los Angeles County Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA
1959   MFA, NY State College of Ceramics at Alfred University
  Lives and works in Venice, CA and Taos, NM
2009   "Time & Place: Los Angeles, 1958-1968", Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland
2008   "Time & Place: Los Angeles, 1958-1968", Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
1998 - 1999   Franklin Parrasch Gallery New York, NY
1998 - 1999   Clay Into Art: Selections from the Collection of Contemp. Ceramics in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, NY
1998   Biomorphic Abstraction, Curt Marcus Gallery New York, NY
1997   Image, Plate, Vessel, Franklin Parrasch Gallery New York, NY
1997   L.A. Louver Gallery Venice, CA
1994   L.A. Louver Gallery Venice, CA
1992   Charles Cowles Gallery New York, NY
1991   James Corcoran Gallery Los Angeles, CA
1991   Selectionsfrom the Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, CA
1989   Rena Bransten Gallery San Francisco, CA
1984   An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art (catalog) New York, NY
1984   Gemini G.E.L., Art and Collaboration, National Gallery of Art (catalog) Washington, DC