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.
May 2, 2016
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.
May 14, 2015
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.
October 28, 2014
Los Angeles Modern Auctions is pleased to announce the inclusion of a work by Ferus Gallery and “Cool School” artist Billy Al Bengston, John (1966), in the upcoming February 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction. Los Angeles artist Billy Al Bengston’s slick, reflective paintings are the visual equivalent of a motorcycle roaring out of the shop, freshly detailed and shining. John is from the artist’s famous Canto Indento series, and bears Bengston’s signature chevron emblem in the center.
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.
October 6, 2012
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.
December 3, 2009
American artist of Greek decent, Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) is well known for his abstract expressionist styled ceramics sculptures. Entrapped in the process of clay-making, Voulkos developed works not with the traditional craft foundation of ceramics, but rather in an experimental way that lead him to treat the medium as pure sculpture. The highly-charged era gave […]
November 19, 2009
The Los Angeles Modern Auctions December 6, 2009 Fine Art, Sculpture, and Design Auction Catalog is now available for online viewing at www.lamodern.com. Viewers have the option to browse individual lots, flip through an electronic version of the catalog online, or purchase the hard copy of the catalog. Feedback has been great! We hope you […]