Ken Price’s ‘Curley,’ a sculpture of a cartoonish phallic form, draws upon the artist’s fascination with the form and dynamism of ocean waves—and how this natural phenomenon is mimicked by the fluidity and flexibility of the human body. In fact, many of Price’s ceramic creations depict plump forms and gently sloping curves. To achieve the glossy, melting surfaces Price layers several coats of paint before vigorously sanding the work. The artist’s work also finds a natural counterpart in Surrealist forms: ‘Curley’ appears to been plucked from a whimsical dreamscape as opposed to the rational and rigid reality humans occupy.

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Additional Information

Gemini G.E.L., New York
Acquired from above by present owner

No apparent condition issues.

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About Ken Price

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Ken Price (American, 1935-2012) was a Los Angeles-based artist, known for his sculptures and watercolors. Inspired by the form of a human body and movement of ocean waves, Price created ceramics that embodied the manner of curved shapes appearing in nature. In order to achieve a glossy surface of variegated color, he applied numerous coats of paint and afterwards sanded each piece for smooth texture. These playful forms of ceramics can also be found in his works on paper, which compositions were representative of color and shape.

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Curley, 2005
Lot Number 6
Fired and hand-painted clay in a lighted wooden display box
4.5 x 4 x 2 in (11.43 x 10.16 x 5.08 cm) -
Wooden display box: 19 x 18 x 8 in (48.26 x 45.72 x 20.32 cm)
Edition of 35
Signed, numbered, inscribed, and dated on underside

Online bidding for this work ended on February 14, 2018 at 1:05pm ET.

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Ken Price
  • Dimensions
    4.5 x 4 x 2 in (11.43 x 10.16 x 5.08 cm) -
    Wooden display box: 19 x 18 x 8 in (48.26 x 45.72 x 20.32 cm)