Hales Gallery is delighted to announce Ancient Systems, the gallery’s second solo exhibition with sculptor Tom Price.
Price’s works all share a fascination in body language, facial expression, and in turn, their ability to suggest a state of mind. His works are amalgamations of a wide range of influences found in the artist’s observations of individuals, invented and constructed with the help of people observed on the street, images from magazines, press cuttings and compositions and ideas taken from classical sculpture. Price’s on-going concern with the relationship between the traditions of western sculpture and that of his Jamaican play an important role in his practice and aim to create work that is both traditional in materiality and progressive in its cultural and conceptual significance.
Ancient Systems will mark a number of important steps in Price’s practice. As a centre piece the show will include the monumental 9-foot tall bronze, Network, the artist’s largest work to date. Network takes the form of a young man in casual dress, looking towards what appears to be his phone. Typical of Price’s work, although the figure stands with a relaxed posture the facial expression opens up the potential for a far more complex internal narrative.
Alongside Network, Price’s first multi-figure piece, The Ground You Walk On, begins to develop and enrich the artist’s world inhabited by isolated male figures. Working with the theme of ‘nightlife’ and the anticipation and desire that envelop the human interactions outside clubs and bars, the sculpture focuses on the composition and narrative of a ‘scene’, referencing a small Italian bronze of Samson and the Philistine thought to be by Baccio Bandinelli (1488-1560).
The artist’s photographic series Marble Draft, also featured in the gallery, sets out to explore the various themes within Price’s practice connected to classical sculpture, provenance and how differing narratives can be constructed from the same materials. The images of hands holding books are arranged into indexed grids above lists of proposed titles that correspond to the numbered images. Each photo is created on a camera rostrum, with Price using his own hands to manipulate and hold the pages of particular books, selected from the library of The British School at Rome, in differing configurations. The black and white photographs of classical figurative sculptures in the books take on new contexts as they are reordered, forming potential connections between each one whilst Price’s hands, the only part of the image to truly be in colour, also take on the role of characters, editing the images and gesturing towards implied narratives. The inclusion of the hands serves to pull the old books and their classical sculptures into the contemporary, whilst inserting a new cultural reference into the imagined histories of the classical.
Tom Price (b. London, UK, 1981) studied at Chelsea College of Art (2001-2004) and received an MA at the Royal College of Art, Sculpture School (2004-2006). Between 2009-2010 Price attended the British School in Rome. In 2009 he was featured on the BBC 4 television documentary, Where is Modern Art Now? and was awarded the Arts Council England Helen Chadwick Fellowship. In 2010 he featured on BBC 4’s, How to Get A Head in Sculpture and was included in ‘10 Magazine’s’ Ten Sculptors You Should Meet. Selected solo shows include his forthcoming exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (UK) in 2014 and past shows at Mac Birmingham (UK), and Hales Gallery (London). His work was also included in shows in the US and Europe. Price lives and works in London.
In Autumn 2013 Price’s large scale work Network will be presented in the open air at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Yorkshire, UK.