22, 67, 90, 106 screens per print and editions up to 100 prints. Joe Price created serigraphs (silkscreens) as no other artist before or after him.
In the early 1970s Price began developing a unique approach to serigraphy that eventually required up to 106 separate screens of transparent color to achieve the luminous color and subtle value transitions that distinguish his prints.
Mr. Price, working with a chemical company began to use a special transparent base into which he was able mix very small amounts of his oils. In this process, using multiple applications of extremely thin, transparent layers, he would gradually build up the layers of paint so they would appear to be opaque and create depth in the image. The light could pass through these layers and give a three dimensional quality to his image. Price could then achieve the more painterly approach to serigraphy that he desired. Mr. Michael Preble, curator of Art at the Arkansas Arts center stated it this way “the image glows with a hue and value that even nature’s light could not create. It is the artist who enhances our experience, and breathes life into the work”.
Joe Price was born in Louisiana in 1935. At the age of 10 his parents moved to Alabama where he attended school until his graduation from high school. He enrolled at Northwestern University in Evanston, Il. where he received his BS degree in Theater Arts in 1957. Immediately after graduation he went off to New York to pursue his theater career. In order to support himself he took jobs using his artistic skills in layout and design. Theater work fell off and in 1960 his agent suggested he move to Los Angeles to continue his career in theater and films. Again, in order to sustain himself, he went to work for Container Corporation of America as a graphic designer. This experience led him away from the performing arts and into the visual arts. He studied at the Art Center College of Design in 1967-68. Following this experience Price moved to San Mateo and was studying drawing at the College of San Mateo when he became fascinated with serigraphy. Price then attended Stanford University and graduated in 1970, with an MA in Graphic Design, the first such degree awarded by Stanford. That same year he joined the faculty of the College of San Mateo, teaching drawing and printmaking, and he remained there as a full professor until his retirement 24 years later. During these early years in San Mateo he continued to perfect his process and his serigraphs.
During the mid-1990s, Price developed an allergic reaction t the toxic fumes associated with screen printing and he did not feel that he could replicate his depth of colors and tones in water-based color. When Price moved from San Mateo to Los Angeles in 1999 he divested himself of his printing equipment, never to print again. We are delighted to have a generous sample of his work in this exhibition.
The combination of technique and imagery has earned Mr. Price an international reputation. Noted jurors have included his work in over 95 national (US), 40 international, and 40 regional print competitions. His work has been included, by invitation, as a U.S. printmaker in more than 15 international biennials and his record of more than 40 purchase prizes and awards included: The Louis Lozowick Memorial Award, Lessing J. Rosenwald Prize, Kempshall Clark Award, Paul Lindsay Sample Memorial Award as well as many others.
Mr. Price’s work is included in numerous museum collections, private collections and corporate collections across the United States and in Europe.