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.
One of the most remarkable designers and architects of the 20th century, Gio Ponti (1891-1979) strived to enhance every aspect of our environment, from buildings, furniture, and ceramics, to glass, silverware, and industrial products. The works of Gio Ponti have in recent years become recognized and sought after as landmarks in international design, however what many people may not realize is that Gio Ponti the architect began his stellar career with ceramics. The May 19, 2013 Modern Art & Design Auction will feature two rare plates executed in 1925 and 1928 each manufactured by Richard-Ginori. Not only do these two plates stand out as exceptional examples, but they also come with impeccable provenance, having been purchased by the consignor’s Italian great grandparents before emigrating to the U.S.
The Prophet of Clay
To a significant degree, Peter Voulkos was the visionary who ushered ceramics into the realm of pure art. Most people considered clay to be mere craft, but Voulkos’ encounters with Klein and de Kooning inspired him to apply a whole new vocabulary to this ancient medium. At tomorrow’s auction we will see a strong grouping of ceramics, including works by Voulkos and McIntosh.