Walter Price, Pearl Lines, Greene Naftali, New York
Its the fire that holds our attention
Its not if you see color, its how you treat color
Armoring the mind
“Be a fireman, we live in the heat, we train in the heat! We control the heat!!”
1 for Mayhem 2 for Mischief
Sensory information from the world
For there’s a Will there’s a Way!
A breeze filled with determination wafted towards us
It has to rain before you can see where all the leaks are at
The fate of the animals
An activity of the spirit
A tear in the static of everyday life
You wouldn’t expect something so transparent to block the heat so well
Allegory of the cave theory
As if you’ve swallowed the sun and moon
Greene Naftali is pleased to present Walter Price’s debut solo exhibition with the gallery,Pearl Lines, which brings together bodies of work from the past three years. Price's paintings and drawings tread the line between figuration and abstraction, grounded in a visual vocabulary informed by both personal and shared experience. Fusing a wide range of references that simultaneously signal individual identities and trans-cultural realities of the human condition, as well as a deep understanding of Art’s history, Price’s work presents an intense investigation of the limits and possibilities of (visual) knowledge. Partially realized objects and figures emerge from bustling negative space and bisecting planes of color, playing with specificity and narrative. A freedom of materials echoes this synthesis of the familiar and the out-of-place, while a continuously shifting gaze, with untold agents and objects, pressures the act of looking. Formal and figurative elements vie for one’s attention; a viewing experience that oscillates between recognition and confusion, knowing and not-knowing.
The title Pearl Lines celebrates drawing as the foundation of Price’s practice. “Pearl” offers beauty, but, here, beauty is rooted in the word itself, in language and utterance, activity and repetition, not in the object to which it may refer. “Everything starts with a line,” Price says. His command of and experimentation with line and composition are seen across the works on view in two galleries dedicated to drawings. Price expands the mark-making possibilities of colored pencil, graphite, marker, and oil pastel in constantly varying gestures paired with collage––pages from books and magazines, torn pieces of paper, packing tape, commercial stickers––and appropriated printmaking methods. The fluidity and freedom Price practices in his drawings are the premise for his approach to painting, a selection of which are on view in the main gallery space.
The accompanying catalogue reproduces a group of the drawings on view, taken from the artist’s portfolio from his 2019 residency at the Fürstenberg Contemporary held at the Heiligenberg Castle. In collaboration with Marco Barrera, Price has also produced a limited-edition zine titled The Illusion of Transparency.
A new essay on Price’s work, titled “The Fluid Part,” by art historian Darby English is available to read and download on the gallery website. For more information please visit: https://www.greenenaftaligallery.com/exhibitions/walter-price/texts