Oct 2, 2021—Oct 1, 2022
Thomas J Price: Witness marks the British sculptor’s first US solo institutional presentation. This nine-foot bronze figure is sited within Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park and depicts a young Black man looking down at his cell phone. The form of the piece pays homage to a work titled Network that Price originally presented in the UK in 2013. Price’s large-scale figural sculptures are inspired by real people, often those who live and work in his hometown of South London, where the artist was born, raised, and currently resides today.
Thomas J Price: Witness is organized by Legacy Russell, former Associate Curator, Exhibitions (now Executive Director and Chief Curator, The Kitchen) with Yelena Keller, Curatorial Assistant, Exhibitions, and is an inHarlem project presented by The Studio Museum in Harlem in partnership with Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and NYC Parks' Art in the Parks program.
Thomas J Price: Witness is presented as part of The Studio Museum in Harlem’s series of collaborative initiatives, inHarlem, encompassing a wide range of artistic and programmatic ventures, from site-specific artists’ projects to collaborative presentations with civic and cultural partners in Harlem. The initiatives began in August 2016 with commissioned works by Kevin Beasley, Simone Leigh, Kori Newkirk, and Rudy Shepherd realized in Morningside Park, Marcus Garvey Park, St. Nicholas Park, and Jackie Robinson Park, respectively. More recently, works by Firelei Báez, Maren Hassinger, and Chloë Bass were presented at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Marcus Garvey Park, and St. Nicholas Park.
This exhibition is made possible thanks to the Open Society Foundations. Support for inHarlem is provided by Citi and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The Studio Museum in Harlem’s digital programs are supported by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation’s Frankenthaler Digital Initiative and Art Bridges. Additional support is generously provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the New York State Legislature and the New York City Council.
Thomas J Price’s multidisciplinary practice confronts preconceived attitudes toward representation, perception, and identity. Price’s large-scale sculptures depict imagined subjects whose features are an amalgamation of sources. Individuals from Price's lived experience as well as stereotypes represented in the media are mixed with references to ancient, classical, and neoclassical sculptures. These works serve as psychological portraits of the viewer by revealing socially learned attitudes and understandings as they project identities on to the depicted characters. Using methods of presentation, material, scale, and detail, Price aims to challenge viewers’ expectations and assumptions.
Born in London in 1981, Price studied at Chelsea College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. Price has held solo exhibitions at institutions including The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada; The National Portrait Gallery, London, UK; Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK; MAC, Birmingham, UK; Royal College of Art, London, UK; Harewood House, Leeds, UK; and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, UK. Price’s work is held in collections such as The Donum Estate, Sonoma, CA; Government Art Collection, London, UK; The Wedge Collection (Canada), Derwent London (UK), Murderme (UK), and the Rennie Collection (Canada). Price was the recipient of the Arts Council England Helen Chadwick Fellowship in 2009, and has been commissioned to create a public artwork in Hackney in 2022 commemorating the Windrush generation.