Day 188/365 of Steel – Bret Price

Bret Price is an American sculptor known for his large-scale work with steel. His work has been included in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens, among others. 

Price’s early works were in ceramics, but he turned to steel beginning in 1979. His creations grew in scale over time, eventually reaching up to 11 m in height and weighing up to 7.5 tons. His artistic process consists of heating pieces of steel to high temperatures using propane gas and then bending, twisting, and rolling them using a forklift, giving them a supple and flexible appearance.

Endless Pursuit, 2010
Fig 2: Endless Pursuit, 2010

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 it’s 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.” Brett Price

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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