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Steel art by Bret Price

Updated: Jan 19, 2020

Bret Price was born in Palo Alto, CA. After graduating from the California Institute of the Arts with a MFA degree in 1975, he began teaching at Chapman University, eventually becoming the chair of the school’s art department. Price works with large swaths of steel. He heats and bends them, making them appear flexible and supple when in fact they are as hard as rock.

Bret Price never got the memo that you have to act like a grown-up to be a world-famous artist. Bret has an exuberant Robert Redford smile and he marvels at his work with the energy of a child. Raw talent runs in the family: Bret's son Greg is a glass artist at Logan Creative, and Bret's father worked closely with Walt Disney. (Disney trivia: Disneyland's City Hall pays homage to Bret's father, "Buzz" Price, with the ornate window sign "Call on our Numbers Man for the Best Price!"). Bret's work has a well defined point of view. He works in metal pieces get as large as RVs that he twists and turns into frozen movement. Effortlessly twisted, giant red beams and spheres shocked out of frozen tracks of lighting make metal look like its as easy to bend as fuzzy pipe cleaners. But better yet, their playfulness and overwhelming scale puts a smile on your face as wide as Bret's.

“Since 1979, I have been building heating chambers around large pieces of steel, applying concentrated, intense heat,

then manipulating the material to create a sense of softness.

When the heat is removed, these illusions of flexibility are frozen, and on one level,

the sculpture becomes a documentation of those forces used in the process.

It is my intent that these sculptures communicate a sense of continuance, as if each piece is a single frame taken from a film, appearing to be at rest before moving on.”

Bret Price

“This small, stainless steel sculpture by Bret Price is a harmonious contradiction. The hard and cold material is made to seem velvety and warm through its unpredictable turns and bends. Price seeks to capture a moment when the steel seems responsive to his every whim, freezing a moment in time before the material goes back to its original state. The intense red generates a sensation of heat and a desire to touch.”

Genny Boccardo-Dubey, Deputy Director for Advancement

Currently on view at HOMME Gallery LA, visits by appointment onl


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