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Ken Price at Mana Contemporary

Mana Contemporary and Gary Lichtenstein Editions at Mana Present:

Ken Price and Harvey Mudd: The Plain of Smokes

September 14 – December 19, 2014

Mana Contemporary and Gary Lichtenstein Editions at Mana present Ken Price and Harvey Mudd: The Plain of Smokes, an exhibition featuring thirty original silkscreen prints Price created to illustrate a 75-page poem cycle written by Mudd. On view from September 14 to December 19, 2014, the exhibition is presented in Mana Contemporary’s 2nd floor gallery.

Published by Arabesque Books in 1981, The Plain of Smokes is an ode to the Los Angeles that shaped both the artist and the poet. The process, which began in 1978, of conceptualizing, developing, and creating The Plain of Smokes, has been described by many, including its author, as the true definition of the word “collaboration.” Mudd and Price continually motivated revision in each other’s work, resulting in a thought-provoking visualization of the dialogue between two artists.

Arabesque Books asked Gary Lichtenstein of SOMA Fine Art Press in San Francisco to print Price’s multilayered paintings featuring pencil, gouache, watercolor, and india ink for the book. In order to translate every last nuance of color relationship and texture from the original work into printer’s ink, Lichtenstein deconstructed Price’s work layer by layer. The most complicated image in the series, “Club Zebra,” required 28 color separations and nearly 5,000 passes through the hand press to print 186 copies. The prints’ “painterly” qualities are a stunning testament to Lichtenstein’s mastery.

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