Thomas J. Price quickly became one of the most important contemporary British sculptors. He breaks down stereotypical figures that are valued in society.
After studying at the Chelsea College of Art, Thomas J. Price received his master’s degree from the Royal College of Art in 2006. He began further research into the language of monumentalism. Much of his work uses ideas of representation and perception, challenging existing historical narratives and redistributing power.
Thomas J. Price has exhibited extensively in the UK and abroad, including solo exhibitions at:
- Yorkshire Sculpture Park;
- West Bretton (2014);
- The National Portrait Gallery in London (2016);
- The Power Plant Gallery of Contemporary Art in Toronto (2019).
In July of this year, Thomas J. Price took over as permanent artist at Hauser & Wirth Somerset ahead of his first solo exhibition at the gallery in October 2021. The artist’s contemporary plots are anonymous, created from composite images to create fictional characters that involve the viewer in a multi-layered dialogue. He calls them experiments in empathy, using material, scale, and physiognomy to make the viewer reflect on how they process their social interactions and the relationships that drive the process.
Early sculptures emerge from cutouts from magazines and newspaper images, handwritten notes, and sketches of people that Thomas J. Price observed in daily life. Most recently, he turned on 3D scanning to help capture the details of clothing, specific body types, and nuances of posture.
It is this complex combination of tactile notation and intuitive digital technology that has expanded and refined Price’s studio practice, including large-scale public commissions, animated films, and photographs.
In 2014, Yorkshire Sculpture Park presented a solo exhibition of sculpture, animation, and work on paper, including an open-air premiere of his sculpture The Network (2013). The exhibition traced the evolution of Thomas J. Price’s approach to the male figure, described as a double exploration of his own white British and black Jamaican heritage, and the identity of a black male in the history of sculpture and culture.
In 2016, Thomas J. Price unveiled the Numen series – three large cast aluminum heads raised to eye level on marble columns – in a solo show at the Power Plant in Toronto and as part of London’s annual Sculpture in the City public art program. In the same year, he opened Now You See Me at the National Portrait Gallery in London, a collection of cast bronze and aluminum sculptures from the previous five years.
Thomas J. Price used traditional materials and methods, drawing on historical precedents such as Greek and Roman sculpture, to confront and critique art history, representing people not usually seen in portraiture.
Price adopted traditional materials and methods, drawing on historical precedents such as Greek and Roman statuary, in order to counter and critique art history by representing people who have not commonly been seen in portraiture.
‘We are thrilled that Thomas is joining the gallery. His multi-disciplinary practice could not be more relevant today. Amid the current discussions of public art and an awareness of nuanced representation in the public realm, Thomas inhabits historic constructs with a newness that at first glance can go unnoticed, but that live in the public realm as silent totems for change.’
— Neil Wenman, Partner, Hauser & Wirth
In 2020, Thomas J. Price was invited to the Reaching Out (2020) 9-foot sculpture exhibition to commemorate the fifth anniversary of The Line, a free public art walk that follows the Greenwich meridian and traverses three different districts in London. Located just outside Stratford on Three Mills Green, the huge sculpture depicts a casually dressed black woman busy with her daily activities, scrolling through her phone. She is a fictional character drawn from various references to serve as a psychological portrait, balancing feelings of isolation and connectedness, while recognizing the different ways technology mediates our lives.
Thomas J. Price stated at the time that it was always important to him that the characters depicted in his figurative works were fictional constructs created from various sources in order to focus on their psychological incarnation and underlying humanistic qualities rather than personality. achievements and exclusivity. The sculpture joins only two other existing public works in London depicting black women and is the first sculpture created by a black artist.
Earlier this year, Thomas J. Price and fellow artist Veronica Ryan were commissioned by the Hackney Council to create the first permanent public sculptures to celebrate the contributions of the Windrush generation and their descendants to the UK. Ryan’s work will be on display this October at Narrow Path Square. London, while the Price Commission’s preparations and research are ongoing, the work is due to be presented on Windrush Day 2022 (22 June) at Hackney Town Hall in London.
In addition, Thomas J. Price was shortlisted for the National Commission on Windrush Monuments at London’s Waterloo Station, organized by UP Projects and the Windrush Commemoration Committee. More than 250 British and international curators and Caribbean community leaders have been invited to nominate artists from around the world, resulting in more than 100 artists being nominated. From this incredibly strong area, four artists were invited to develop a proposal for the monument’s opening next year.
From October 2, 2021, to January 3, 2022, the gallery will present its first solo exhibition of works by Thomas J. Price at Hauser & Wirth Somerset.