An artist with deep ties to Taos, whose work redefined modern ceramic sculpture, has died. Ken Price, 77, succumbed to cancer Friday morning at his home and studio in Taos.

“At the time of his death Price had completed preparations for a 50-year retrospective, scheduled to open at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the fall in an exhibition designed by architect Frank Gehry,” according to an online article by Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight. “The show will travel to the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. A 1992 retrospective traveled from the Menil Collection in Houston to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.”

Stephanie Barron, senior curator of modern art at LACMA and organizer of the Price retrospective, said in the LA Times piece, “Price’s practice has remained resolutely original, challenging categorization and redefining contemporary sculpture. The observation that critic Lucy Lippard made in 1966 seems prescient: ‘It is a fact rather than a value judgment that no one else on the East or West Coast is working like Kenneth Price.’ ”

Price maintained residences in Taos and Venice, Calif., according to his website at www.kenprice.com.

Born in Los Angeles on Feb. 16, 1935, Price took his first ceramics class after graduation at Santa Monica College.

“In 1954 he transferred to USC, where he later taught, and in 1957 he enrolled at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now Otis College of Art and Design),” according to the LA Times piece. “In 1968 Price married Happy Ward, who survives him along with their son, Jackson, and his step-children, Romy and Sydney. Two years later the couple moved to Taos. In 1983 they relocated to the Massachusetts coast, where they remained for seven years, until Price returned to Los Angeles and joined the USC faculty. After teaching for a decade Price went back to Taos with his family. He lived and worked in both New Mexico and California ever since.”

Works by Price were included in the “Hopper at the Harwood” exhibition in 2010 at the Harwood Museum of Art.

Arrangements are in the process and will be announced at a later date. For more, read the print edition of The Taos News next Thursday (March 1).

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