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Presence & Absence:
New Works by Tom Price

June 20, 2014–January 4, 2015

Location: Bloch Building, Galleries L7 & L8
Admission is FREE

Explore the mysterious and beautiful world of Presence & Absence. Beginning with unexpected materials and dramatic installations, English artist Tom Price intrigues and delights. Presence & Absence displays new work, created specifically for the Nelson-Atkins, in Price's first major US solo exhibition.

Inspired by the volcanic ash encrusted body casts found in the ancient city of Pompeii following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE, Price explores the dual concepts of presence and absence. He was moved by the paradox that the physical bodies of the inhabitants were simultaneously destroyed and preserved by this cataclysmic event.

For the cast bodies of The Presence of Absence, Price chose coal as his casting material. The material reinforces the sense of history and nature's power; carbon being one of the fundamental elements of our universe. Price connects the basic building blocks of life to the past and the present, as the casts record the momentary presence of his models; made permanent in their absence.

Also included in the exhibition are Price's experimentation and transformation of resin. Slabs and blocks of resin dazzle and perplex as Price forces the resin to over-heat, split and melt lumps of tar. Although it appears that there are additions, they are actually voids and cracks–both presences and absences.

In all of his projects, Price engages, enchants and transports his viewers to new places.

This exhibition is supported by Belger Cartage Service, Inc., the Campbell-Calvin Fund and Elizabeth C. Bonner Charitable Trust for exhibitions, and the Rheta A. Sosland Fund.


Share Your Experience

Use #presenceandabsence to tag your photos of the Presence & Absence exhibition and magnetic board responses

Tom Price, English (b. 1973). The Presence of Absence (detail), 2014. Coal, PVA, steel and epoxy. Courtesy of the artist.

Tom Price, English (b. 1973). Synthesis #1 (detail). 2014. Polyurethane resin, polyester resin and tar. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Jaroslav Moravec.

Tom Price, English (b. 1973). Carbon Void Blue, 2013. Coal and resin. Courtesy of the artist.

Tom Price: Behind the Scenes

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