Artist Spotlight: Ken Price Ceramics

October 6, 2019

Artist Spotlight: Ken Price Ceramics

Sparked by his early investigation of the cup as an object, Price demonstrated a career-long interest in not only the vessel form, but the in broader duality of interior and exterior.

Read more about Ken Price ceramics in advance of the October 20, 2019 Modern Art & Design Auction.

Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: California Ceramics

May 15, 2019

Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: California Ceramics

When Californian ceramists became active in the early 20th century, their geographic independence from long-standing ceramic capitals meant that they weren’t bound by the traditions of their trade or by a preexisting critical infrastructure. A variety of works featured in the May 19, 2019 Modern Art and Design Auction help chart the history of California’s innovative and untethered ceramic practices.

Read more about California Ceramics in Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day for the May 19, 2019 Modern Art and Design Auction.

Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: California Clay

October 7, 2016

Los Angeles Modern Auctions (LAMA)

Los Angeles was fertile ground for some of the greatest achievements of the American Studio Ceramic Movement between the 1940s and the 1970s. In the auction on Sunday, October 9th, LAMA offers a number of examples by the leading practitioners of the movement whose work served as a catalyst in re-shaping attitudes toward clay. From Peter Voulkos and Paul Soldner, to Stan Bitters and Gertrud & Otto Natzler, Peter Loughrey, director of LAMA, provides his expert insight on the state of clay, while curator Jo Lauria contextualizes these masters works and their lasting influence. Read on!

Jun Kaneko: Dualities in Clay

May 2, 2016

Lot 99, Jun Kaneko, Untitled (Dango) (1999)

The work of ceramic artist Jun Kaneko embodies two distinct sensibilities: there is the spirituality inherent in the ancient pottery traditions of his native Japan, and there are the modernist impulses born of his studies under the masters of the California Clay Movement. Kaneko has preferred oversized formats, which he believes foster a deeper engagement with the viewer. His signature form, a series he calls Dango—Japanese for “dumpling”—can be as large as ten feet tall. Their making requires both patience and virtuosic technical prowess. Kaneko has estimated that only two in ten works survive the laborious building, drying, and firing process without cracking or exploding. Yet when successful, Kaneko realizes some of the most profound work in contemporary art.

Just In: Ken Price’s Quiet “Riot”

March 24, 2016

Ken Price L.A. Riot 1994

Ken Price is acclaimed as a groundbreaking master of ceramic sculptures, but from the beginning, drawing was central to his artistic practice. “Drawing,” Price once said, “is a way of seeing what you’re thinking about.” L.A. Riot, a 1994 drawing in ink and acrylic on paper, is an exploration of dimensionality. The drawing investigates scale, mediating between a scene of violence and destruction on a television screen and the reality of events visible through a living room window. LAMA will proudly feature this extraordinary work in its May 22, 2016 Modern Art & Design Auction.

Design for Loving: Gertrud and Otto Natzler, the Clay-Mates

February 13, 2016

Lot 298, Gertrud & Otto Natzler (1955)

On Valentine’s Day, thoughts turn to romance. At LAMA, it strikes us how often the bonds of affection—most prominently among husband-and-wife teams—have shaped the best in modern art and design, and no couple worked so seamlessly and with such symmetry as the groundbreaking ceramicists Gertrud and Otto Natzler. On February 21, twelve lots of Natzler pottery go to auction in LAMA’s Modern Art & Design Auction.

Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: Otis College and the Ceramic Revolution

May 14, 2015

Otis College Ceramics, Los Angeles Modern Auctions, May 17, 2015 Auction

The Los Angeles County Art Institute, which became the Otis College of Art and Design, was at the center of ceramic’s evolution as an artistic medium in America. In 1954 Peter Voulkos became head of its ceramics department. He brought with him energy, strength and a bold streak influenced by Abstract Expressionism–all new elements for the discipline. The kilns at Otis College became the launching pad for the new ceramic artistry. Voulkos’s students and colleagues joined the signal artistic movements of the sixties and seventies.

From Peter Loughrey, Director of Modern Design:

Ceramics came into its own as a fine art form in the 1950s. Clay had been regarded as a second-class medium–more artisanal than artistic.

The crucible of that change was the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, in the ceramics studio headed by Peter Voulkos. LAMA’s May 17th auction includes a wonderful group of lots featuring the work of Voulkos and his colleagues and students–every significant artist at the heart of that revolution, including Paul Soldner, John Mason, Henry Takemoto, Ken Price, and Billy Al Bengston.

Peter’s Picks of the Day: Ceramics

May 17, 2013

Today I’d very much like to discuss a group of remarkable ceramists represented in Sunday’s auction. These master craftsmen changed our artistic recognition of the clay medium. Glen Lukens, Peter Voulkos, and Ken Price revolutionized ceramics in Los Angeles and the world beyond.