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  • cover image of Happy's Curios

Maurice Tuchman, Los Angeles, 1978.

Softcover, OP, 90 pp., color & b/w illus. throughout. 1/2 dent at top of spine & some staining on inside cover.

Published on the occasion of "Ken Price Happy's Curios" exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art : April 4-July 2, 1978.

From the Introduction:

"Happy's Curios is a work of art about pottery.  It proceeds from the artist's indignation at the poor state, and low status, of pottery in the art worlds of the U.S. and Europe.  A curious exception is the high quality of Mexican and American Indian folk pottery.  As a Los Angeles youth, Ken Price was always impressed by the folk potters of Tonala and Oaxaca, whose work he saw in Tijuana--impressed "by some aspects of it:their offhand looseness, the authentic folk patterning." 

"Happy's Curios , the artist's concentrated five-year assault on the possibilities of pottery, is an act of homage to the anonymous Mexican artists.  He is sensitive to the final irony of his work as well; that he, like the well-meaning cultural societies that try to save local craft traditions, freezes these traditions, making them less authentic while keeping them functioning."

Link to LACMA Unframed blog post by Stephanie Barron.

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