Thomas J Price’s multidisciplinary practice amplifies the visibility of marginalized bodies and challenges our preconceived attitudes towards power and value. ‘Beyond Measure’ marks the British artist’s first comprehensive solo exhibition in the US and features an entirely new series of sculptures in bronze and marble.
Public tours for ‘Thomas J Price. Beyond Measure’ are available every Wednesday at 3 pm in South Gallery. No booking necessary.
For the first time, Price presents a group of large-scale figurative sculptures together in one location, enabling the viewer to inhabit the space around the figures and become an active participant in the narrative between them. The fictional bronze works are constructed from a full spectrum of amalgamated images and observations, as well as 3D scanning that took place during an open call in LA last summer. Ranging from 9 to 12 ft in height, the multi-layered works are emblematic of boundless and unfixed identities that are leaning away from social or racial profiling.
Adopting traditional materials and juxtaposing new technologies in order to critique art history is continued in a new series of pink marble heads, crafted in Italy using a dual approach of intricate hand-carving and digital techniques. Developed during the same open call as the full-scale figures, the works represent characteristics and physiognomy of real-life participants from LA, alongside details captured in the UK and beyond. These works embody archetypal objects of worship in a modern age, signifying a sense of importance and splendor despite their anonymous identities.
Price’s critical investigation of these concepts extend beyond the medium of sculpture, utilizing material techniques and modes of display that question social and artistic conventions. Price’s early photographic series Marble Draft (2010-2013) is extended to Hand Arrangement (The Complex Journeys of a Simple Form) (2023). This line of conceptual inquiry sets out to interrogate themes of provenance, the passage of time and implied context, illuminating how identity can be attributed based on expert opinion or an institution as holder of fact. Price’s hands simultaneously complete, connect and edit elements of the original classical subject, taking agency within the narrative and making a statement on the plasticity of truth.
Price’s Acrylic Head series (2005 – ongoing) act as intimate portals into the subjects’ inner landscapes. Consumed in their own thoughts, the powerful ensemble projects a quiet confidence that calls for a process of self-analysis from the viewer, dismantling archetypes often present in western media by both normalizing and elevating an alternative.
Accompanying the exhibition, we are pleased to welcome back the Education Lab initiative, titled ‘Traces of Us,’ inspired by the work and practice of Thomas J Price. The Education Lab will explore themes of value, representation, and status within contemporary social structures, empowering young people to use art and their own first-hand experiences in a collaborative creative project. Participating students from local schools will explore the ways in which we celebrate success today and who they would like to commemorate, resulting in unique presentations within the Lab space throughout the summer.
Thomas J Price’s multidisciplinary practice confronts preconceived attitudes towards representation and identity, foregrounding the intrinsic value of the individual and subverting structures of hierarchy. Celebrated for his large-scale figurative sculptures, Price draws our attention to the psychological embodiment of his fictional characters, highlighting nuanced understandings of social signifiers and predetermined value. Amalgamated from multiple sources, the works are developed through a hybrid approach of traditional sculpting and intuitive digital technology. Price balances methods of presentation, material and scale to challenge our expectations and provide cues for deeper human connection. He encompasses historic constructs with a newness that at first glance can go unnoticed, but that live in the public realm as silent totems for change.
Thomas J PriceBeyond Measure
On view now through 20 August 2023 at Hauser & Wirth Downtown Los Angeles.