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    David Ebony's Top Ten

Ken Price at Franklin Parrasch
For the past 30 years or so, Ken Price has been widely regarded as one of the country's foremost ceramic artists, whose works can hold their own as sculpture. In a 1966 exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the California artist caused something of a sensation with a display of strange objects in fired and painted clay, a number of which have been brought together for this New York show.

Among the eight major pieces on view, Silver (1961) looks like a metal helmet placed on a sculpture stand. From a small gash on one side of the piece, a number of purple wormlike protuberances poke through to the outside. In spite of its cold, glitzy exterior and overall machine qualities, the work, set against the backdrop of a brilliant orange wall, seems truly animated. It exudes a sense of the organic, like a strange horseshoe crab stranded on the shore. Specimen (1963-64) is another sci-fi-inspired piece. Here, the side of a red metallic egg has been gouged with small, dark hollows. Near the center, a silvery red nodule resembles a larvae emerging from a cocoon. These and all of the other works in the show seem as fresh and provocative today as they must have been at the time of their debut.

"Ken Price: Lumps, Bumps, Eggs and Specimens -- Works from the 1960s," Apr. 28-May 20, at Franklin Parrasch, 20 West 57th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019.