Melville Price

American, 1920–1970

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Melville Price

American, 1920–1970

651
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Biography

Melville Price was one of the younger members of the Abstract Expressionist movement in New York. Early in his career, he experimented with Cubist and Surrealist styles, under the influence of his mentor Joseph Stella, who introduced him to the two movements among many others. Franz Kline was also an influential figure in Price’s career, as well as a friend. Price was considered to have made his breakthrough with his “Maze Series” (1948-51), a body of paintings featuring intricate lines and winding forms with an emphasis on color. His wife Barbara Gillette Price said that with these works, Price “wished to establish a tenuous balance between the automatic gesture, the emerging forms, and the depth of the field of the painting itself.” In later works, Price applied paint more aggressively and sometimes included words, numbers, and collaged elements.

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Biography

Melville Price was one of the younger members of the Abstract Expressionist movement in New York. Early in his career, he experimented with Cubist and Surrealist styles, under the influence of his mentor Joseph Stella, who introduced him to the two movements among many others. Franz Kline was also an influential figure in Price’s career, as well as a friend. Price was considered to have made his breakthrough with his “Maze Series” (1948-51), a body of paintings featuring intricate lines and winding forms with an emphasis on color. His wife Barbara Gillette Price said that with these works, Price “wished to establish a tenuous balance between the automatic gesture, the emerging forms, and the depth of the field of the painting itself.” In later works, Price applied paint more aggressively and sometimes included words, numbers, and collaged elements.

Career Highlights