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Untitled (circa 1999)

Joanna Price

painted and glazed ceramic

Guildhall Art Gallery, London

Untitled (circa 1999)



Craft, Sculpture




Glazed, Painted


25 x 20 x 12 cm


Gift of the Estate of Joanna Price, donated by Bea and Clem Moyes; presented by the Contemporary Art Society 2019/20



Ownership history:

Gifted by Bea and Clem Moyes from the estate of Joanna Price (1956-2014) to the Contemporary Art Society; presented to Guildhall Art Gallery, 2019/20
Joanna Price is best known for her figurative works, studies of life and society which reference paintings and themes from the past but always with a refreshing and subversive narrative. A recurring motif in her works are blue, male figures in suits, first seen in her second solo exhibition, ‘Small Blue Executive World’, at the Anna Bornholt Gallery. Good form and Nice style is typical of this style, with blue figures, clustered on floating islands, their dramas played out on a pale surface. The island motif is also seen in the organic form of the ceramic sculpture, which also depicts a similar male tension.

The Guildhall Art Gallery houses the City of London Corporation’s art collection and is situated in the heart of the Square Mile. The collection is particularly rich in Victorian art and since the Second World War the Gallery has concentrated on expanding its unique collection of London pictures. Given the Gallery’s location, several works explore themes associated with the City of London, such as money, power, boom and bust, trade and commerce, with particular reference to the financial services.

Price’s works are well-observed portraits which evoke the masculine/phallic energy of the City of London, a part of the city which is evidenced in the collection through formal portraits mainly of men in roles of power and authority, and to this aspect of the collection the two works are a pertinent counterpoint. In Good form and Nice style, the actions of the figures are ambiguous, the interactions can be read as friendly or something more malevolent, a kind of restrained violence. The figures in the sculpture, men urinating (top level) whilst other figures hold them up (bottom level) has a similar tension, and most obviously brings to mind the term ‘pissing contest’ and what it means metaphorically as well as its connotations of toxic masculinity. With an obvious visual link to the Gallery’s financial surroundings, Price’s work within this context is particularly thought-provoking.

All rights reserved. Any further use will need to be cleared with the rights holder. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial copying, hiring, lending is prohibited. The collection that owns this artwork may have more information on their own website about permitted uses and image licensing options.

For further information, please consult our section of our copyright policy.

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