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Seth Price



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Untitled (2016) typifies Seth Price’s experiments with “networked” art, which appropriates the trappings of bureaucratic systems. The painting centers a warped pencil that seems to coil through the canvas in an amorphous crosshatch of sprayed-on polystyrene foam. He bends the pencil to the bounds of recognizability, twisting it into curves at once corporeal and infrastructural. In the background of the painting he applied a spectral, repeated stencil of the logo for Alphabet, the holding company formed in a 2015 restructuring of corporate properties associated with Google. It resembles the watermark used for security purposes on envelopes for mailing financial and confidential documents, accentuating Alphabet’s economic heft as a leading data purveyor while alluding to the operational secrecy that stands in stark contrast to the firm’s reliance on mass surveillance. Price’s application of the Alphabet logo nods to Pop art (and the contemporaneous American
Minimalism), which favored the seriality and replicability of the grid. The juxtaposition of the warped pencil and the subtly dominating logo might attest to the cannibalization of old technologies by new ones. Price tailors this Pop send up for the sleek corporate fashions of the information age, when power, pleasure, and precarity are each but a click away. [Permanent Collection Label, 2022]

  • Artist Seth Price (American, b. Israel, 1973)
  • Title Untitled
  • Date 2016
  • Medium Ultraviolet transfer and polystyrene foam on acrylic wood-fiber veneer
  • Dimensions framed | 61 1/16 x 61 1/16 x 1 7/8 in.
  • Credit line University purchase, Parsons Fund, 2016
  • Object number WU 2016.0014

Disorderly Materials / Contingent Objects
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 09/01/2023 - 12/31/2023 Teaching Gallery

Ambivalent Pleasures: Advertiser Content in American Art
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 08/29/2022 - 01/02/2023

Island Press: Innovation at Washington University
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 01/21/2000 - 03/19/2000

Petzel Gallery, New York

Inscription Textual component, repeated in vertical lines: Alphabet

Label Verso, white printed paper label affixed to backing board at center. Label is upside down and adhered askew over another printed label. [Left justified, printed in black] Petzel [bold] / 456 W 18th Street New York NY 10011 / Tel 212 680 9467 // SETH PRICE [bold] / Untitled [underlined] / 2016 / Ultraviolet transfer on acrylic wood-fiber Veneer, extruded / polystyrene foam in artist’s frame / 61 x 61 x 1.5 inches / 154.9 x 154.9 x 3.8 cm / (SPR 16/037)

repeated in vertical lines across recto: Alphabet

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