Thomas J Price

Ancient Systems
6 September - 12 October 2013

Private View: Thursday, 5 September, 2013, 6-8:30 pm

Hales Gallery is delighted to announce their second solo exhibition with the sculptor Tom Price.


Ancient Systems 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. With his other hand in his jeans pocket and his weight through his back leg the figure has the appearance of a relaxed individual, but typical of Price's work the facial expression opens up the potential for a far more complex internal narrative. The title of the piece comments on the increasing levels of mediation of our social relationships by remote means and how whilst presenting an apparent expansion and immediacy in connecting people, this could in fact be creating wider divides between individuals and groups within our society by reducing real life interactions.


Like Price's smaller bronze figures this large work uses scale to control the way in which it is encountered by the viewer. Whilst these smaller works employ minute detail to create a sense of dense volume to draw in a viewer, Network's large scale and volume present a natural viewing space that is some distance from the piece itself. However the instinctive human reaction is to get close to the object in order to challenge this anomaly of perspective and it is in this closer proximity that the viewer is able to examine the work in depth and re-examine their physical and psychological relationship with it.


Alongside Network Price's first multi-figure piece, The Ground You Walk On, begins to develop and enrich the artist's world inhabited by the isolated male figures. The sculpture focuses on composition and the narrative of a 'scene', based on the small Italian bronze of Samson and the Philistine thought to be by Baccio Bandinelli (1488-1560). In this old sculpture Samson stands over the terrified figure of a Philistine, grasping him by th e neck with his other hand holding the jawbone of an ass above his head ready to bring it down upon the head of the Philistine. The Philistine's face is contorted with fear, whilst Samson's expression is much less extreme, eyes wide with focused determination. This same dynamic and intensity is translated into a modern day scene as a contemporary couple enter a physical tussle.


Covering the walls around Price's sculptures, the artist's photographic series, Marble Draft sets out to explore various themes 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 also alluding to the nature of the construction of the sculptures and of the work itself.


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). In 2009 he was featured alongside Grayson Perry, Michael Landy, Sir Anthony Caro and Cornelia Parker on the BBC 4 television documentary, Where is Modern Art Now?, presented by Gus Casely-Hayford. In 2010 he featured on BBC 4's, How to Get A Head in Sculpture, also featuring Marc Quinn and Sir Anthony Caro. In 2010 Price was included in 10 Magazine's Ten Sculptors You Should Meet and was an invited artist at the Royal Academy Summer Show. Selected shows include shows at the Royal Academy of Arts (London), Mac Birmingham (UK), Royal College of Art (London), Andipa Gallery (London) and Hales Gallery (London). His work was also included in shows in the US and Europe.

In Autumn 2013 Price's work will be presented in the open air at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Yorkshire, UK.


Price lives and works in London.