Current, Forthcoming & Recent Exhibitions Past Exhibitions

Peter Voulkos: Works, 1956-1997
Clay's Tectonic Shift: John Mason, Ken Price, Peter Voulkos, 1956-1968.
Peter Voulkos in L.A.: Time Capsule.
California Design, 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way.”
Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1945-1970.     
Common Ground: Ceramics in Southern California, 1945-1975.
Pacific Asia Museum: 46 N. Los Robles: A History of the Pasadena Art Museum.
Our Treasures: Highlights from the Minnesota Museum of American Art.
Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics: The Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection.               
Northwest Modern: Revisiting the Annual Ceramic Exhibitions of 1950-1964.
75 Gifts for 75 Years.
Crafting Modernism: Mid-Century American Art and Design.
Beyond Tradition: Art Legacies at the Richmond Art Center, Part II.
Peter Voulkos: A Survey.
Voulkos 101: A Survey Exhibition.
Peter Voulkos: The Montana, Otis & Berkeley Years.


2007   2003   2002   2001
 
2000   1999   1998

rockingpot
Untitled, 1956
Photo: schoppleinstudio.com


rockingpot
Untitled Plate, 1997
Photo: schoppleinstudio.com

 
 
  

 
Peter Voulkos: Works, 1956-1997

The Franklin Parrasch Gallery in New York City will host an exemplary solo show of Peter Voulkos works in clay in the fall of 2013. Entitled Peter Voulkos: Works, 1956-1997, the exhibition features ten works ranging from his Untitled, made in 1956, to his 1997 anagama wood fired stoneware plate both of which are pictured at left. Untitled, 1956, was made at a time when he was influenced both by an interest in Japanese Haniwa art and in breaking away from the wheel thrown classical forms for which he had become known in the early 1950’s. Experimenting with sculptural forms, Untitled, 1956, is assembled from both cut slab and thrown manipulated elements with incisions. It was included in both the 1978-79 and the 1995 retrospectives of his work and has been reproduced in numerous publications of which details can be found in its exhibition history and literature on this web page in the Quest section of this site. Four other works in the show are featured in the Quest section for which links are included in this text.
 
Also on display will be two additional pieces from the 1950s, an Untitled Vase from 1957, a fine example of a “slab-stencil” technique Voulkos developed and employed on numerous mid-50’s works, and Blue and Gray, one of his late, big 1950’s sculptures. Blue and Gray, made in 1959 and standing 52 inches in height, was first exhibited at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in the Third Pacific Coast Biennial: An Exhibition of Sculpture and Drawings by Artists of California, Oregon and Washington, and more recently in his retrospective in 1995. The decade of the sixties will be represented by Untitled, 1969-70, a work often referred to as one of the “blackware” stacks; it is thirty inches high and is pictured here. From Voulkos’ work of the 1970’s, an Untitled Plate, 1973, and an Untitled Stack, circa 1974, will be featured. In both of these works, he combined drawing, punctures and what he called porcelain “pass-throughs” with the stoneware clay body and high fired them in kilns that use gas as the fuel.
 
In 1979, Voulkos began firing his work in anagama-style kilns that use wood as the sole source of heat. Abandoning the application of glaze prior to the work being placed in the kiln resulted in surfaces and colors that derive from the many variabilities possible in this Japanese method among them the particular kiln, the kind of wood used, the duration of the firing and many other factors. His Untitled Ice Bucket, 1989, and Ironhead, a 1990 stack, are examples of his ventures in this process; they were both fired in Peter Callas’ anagama in Belvidere, New Jersey. A thirty-five-and-a-half inch tall stack, Ironhead was featured in an exhibit, Meeting of the Masters, which was organized on the occasion of the Olympics held in Lillehammer, Norway; the show debuted in Oslo after which it traveled throughout Norway. After conducting workshops at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Shiga Prefecture, Japan in 1995 and 1996 and intrigued with the qualities of the Shigaraki clay body, Voulkos incorporated that clay body with his own which produced results like those seen in his Untitled Plate of 1997, also in the exhibit at the Parrasch Gallery and, again, pictured at left. The exhibition provides a great opportunity to see works from five decades some of which have rarely been shown and some of which are considered iconic examples of Voulkos’ art.
 
The exhibit will open October 17, 2013 and be on view through November 23, 2013. For more information, please contact the gallery via telephone, 212-246-5360, by email at info@franklinparrasch.com or visit the Franklin Parrasch Gallery website.
 
 

rockingpot
Rocking Pot, 1957
Photo: schoppleinstudio.com

 
 
  

 
Clay's Tectonic Shift: John Mason, Ken Price, Peter Voulkos, 1956-1968

On January 21, 2012, the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery at Scripps College in Claremont, California, in conjunction with Pacific Standard Time: Art in Los Angeles, 1945-1980, will mount an exhibition entitled Clay's Tectonic Shift: John Mason, Ken Price, Peter Voulkos, 1956-1968, featuring sculptural works by these three artists over a twelve-year period. Both John Mason and Ken Price studied with Pete Voulkos when the latter taught ceramics at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now the Otis Art institute) from 1954 to 1959. In 1957, Mason and Voulkos established a studio on Glendale Boulevard in Los Angeles where they built a seven-foot-tall, walk-in, up-draft kiln in order to accommodate the increasingly-large-scale of their clay work.
 
Among the Voulkos works in the exhibition will be his iconic Rocking Pot, pictured at left, the only piece he deemed Rocking Pot. Also featured will be his sixty-nine-inch-tall Sitting Bull, fifty-five-inch-tall Tientos, forty-one-and-a-half-inch-tall Snake River, all 1959, and Soleares (ll), 1958 and a previously-unshown, untitled work from 1957 along with several more untitled works from 1956 to 1959.
 
The exhibit, co-curated by Kirk Delman and Frank Lloyd, will be acompanied by a catalogue edited by Mary Davis MacNaughton, with a foreword contributed by Peter Plagens and essays by Michael Duncan, Frank Lloyd, Mary McNaughton, Suzanne Muchnic and Karen Tsujimoto. The show will be on view through April 8, 2012. For more information, please contact the gallery via telephone (909) 607-3397 or visit the Scripps gallery website. This exhibition is part of the region-wide Pacific Standard Time initiative, Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945 to 1980.
 
 

plate
Plate, mid-1950s
Photo: Sam Jornlin

 
 
  

 
Peter Voulkos in L.A.: Time Capsule

The Frank Lloyd Gallery in Santa Moncia, California will host an exhibition opening January 14, 2012 entitled Peter Voulkos in L.A.: Time Capsule of selected works, from the collection of Pier Voulkos, Pete’s daughter, by artists with whom Voulkos worked and which he acquired during his five-year sojourn in Los Angeles from 1954 through 1959 along with approximately eight pieces of his own work executed there that reflect the transition from his earlier functional pieces to more experimental forms. Among the Voulkos objects are the ten-inch-diameter plate, pictured at left, decorated with three freely-brushed figures using cobalt and iron slips, several plates and vases and a bowl using a slab appliqué technique. The latter piece was included in both Voulkos retrospectives, the 1978-79 show organized by the American Crafts Council and the 1995 exhibit organized by the Sezon Museum of Art in Tokyo.

Among the works by his colleagues and artists are a large wall sculpture by Edward Kienholz, a painting, drawing and ceramics by Billy Al Bengston, a painting by Esteban Vicente and ceramic works by Michael Frimkess, John Mason, Ken Price, Paul Soldner and Henry Takemoto.

The exhibition can be seen through February 11, 2012. For more information, please contact the gallery via telephone (310) 264-3866 or visit the FLG website. This exhibition is part of the region-wide Pacific Standard Time initiative, Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945 to 1980.
 
 

5000 Feet
5000 Feet, 1958

 
 
  

 
California Design, 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way”

Organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, this exhibition is the first major study of California midcentury modern design. With more than 350 objects, comprising furniture, ceramics, metalwork, graphic and industrial design, film, textiles, and fashion, the exhibition examines the state’s role in shaping the material culture of the entire country. Organized into four thematic areas, the exhibition aims to elucidate the 1951 quote from émigré Greta Magnusson Grossman that is incorporated into the exhibition’s title: California design “is not a superimposed style, but an answer to present conditions... It has developed out of our own preferences for living in a modern way.” The exhibition is on view from October 1, 2011 to June 3, 2012.

Voulkos is represented with his 1958 forty-five-and-a-half-inches-tall sculpture, 5000 Feet, pictured at left, and his circa 1955-56 Standing Jar, twenty-two-and-a-half-inches tall, both made in Los Angeles and both now in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Standing Jar, a gift of Howard and Gwen Lauire Smits, was orginally in the collection of Mitzi Landau and thus, was possibly in Voulkos’ first solo show at the Landau Gallery in Los Angeles in 1956. 5000 Feet was exhibited in Voulkos’ solo show of ceramics, sculpture and paintings at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1958 and subsequently in the 1959 Annual Exhibition of Artists of Los Angeles and Vicinity at the Los Angeles County Museum where it received a Purchase Award from juror and sculptor, David Smith. Standing Jar and 5000 Feet were both incuded in his retrospective organized by the Sezon Museum of Art in Tokyo which was held there in January-February of 1995 before traveling to the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto.

A 360-page book cataloguing the exhibition with three-hundred-fifty illustrations of which two-hundred-fifty are in color and essays by Wendy Kaplan, Christopher Long, Bobbye Tigerman, Nicholas Olsberg, Pat Kirkham, Bill Stern, Glenn Adamson, Melissa Leventon, Jeremy Aynsley, and Staci Steinberger, published by MIT Press is available.

To learn more, please visit the LACMA website or telephone 1.323.857.6000. This exhibition is part of the region-wide Pacific Standard Time initiative, Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945 to 1980.
 
 

LBH
Little Big Horn, 1959
Photo: schoppleinstudio.com

 
 
  

 
Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1945-1970

Organized by the Getty Research Institute, with the J. Paul Getty Museum, this exhibition charts the abundant artistic innovation in post-World War II Los Angeles. During this period, Los Angeles artists looked for new approaches, subjects, and techniques for art making, including experimenting with the materials and processes of the pioneering industries in the region and the local surf and car cultures. The exhibition leads viewers on a dynamic tour from the emergence of an indigenous strain of modernism evident in the hard-edge paintings, assemblage sculpture, and large-scale ceramics of the 1950s, to the subsequent development of iconic Pop images of the city in the 1960s, and the conceptual and material contributions of Light and Space art and process painting that fostered the advanced art of the 1970s. Opening on October 1, 2011, it will be on view through February 5, 2012 and will then travel to the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin where it will be on view March 15 to June 10, 2012.

Voulkos is represented with his sixty-two-inches-tall Little Big Horn made in Los Angeles in 1959, now in the collection of The Oakland Museum of California. Having been exhibited widely, Little Big Horn was shown in Voulkos’ solo show, Sculpture/Painting/Ceramics, at the Felix Landau Gallery in Los Angeles in 1959, the Premiere Biennale de Paris at the Musee d'Art de la Ville de Paris, France in 1959, the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1960, the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962, the exhibition, California Sculpture, at the Kaiser Center, Oakland in 1963 and his solo show, Peter Voulkos Sculpture, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1965. It was one of three sculptures in the Premiere Biennale de Paris for which Voulkos was awarded the Rodin Museum Prize. It was acquired by the Oakland Museum [in 1963] from the Art Guild of the Oakland Museum Association in memory of Helen Schilling Stelzner. It was also featured in Voulkos’ 1978-79 retrospective organized by the American Crafts Council and in his 1995 survey exhibiition, The Art of Peter Voulkos, organized by the Oakland Museum of California both of which traveled nationally.

To document the show, Getty Publications has produced a handsome 352-page hardcover catalogue/book titled, Pacific Standard Time Los Angeles Art, 1945-1980, with two-hundred-eighteen color and one-hundred-sixty illustrations and authored by Rebecca Peabody, Andrew Perchuk, Glenn Phillips and Rani Singh, Catherine Taft, Lucy Bradnock, Ken D. Allan, Lisa Turvey, Donna Conwell and Jane McFadden.

To learn more, please visit the Getty website or telephone 1.310.440.7300. This exhibition is part of the region-wide Pacific Standard Time initiative, Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945 to 1980.
 
 

vase
Vase, circa 1955-56

 
 
  

 
Common Ground: Ceramics in Southern California, 1945-1975

From November 12, 2011 to March 31, 2012, the American Museum of Ceramic Art presents Common Ground: Ceramics in Southern California 1945-1975, the inaugural exhibition in their new location at 399 North Garey Avenue in Pomona, California. This is a survey of more than 300 ceramic objects by more than fifty ceramic artists who worked in the Los Angeles area in the decades following World War II and who also had a relationship, both in support of and in opposition to the theories and concepts of “good design,“ advocated by artist, art administrator, and designer Millard Sheets. Sheets was director of the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now the Otis Institute of Art and Design) when he hired Voulkos in 1954 to be chairman and professor of a new ceramics department and graduate program at LACAI.

Voulkos is represented in the show with several mid-1950s functional works including a lamp base, a coffee/chocolate pot which demonstrates his wax-resist brushwork technique and which was recently featured on PBS’ popular television show, Antiques Roadshow and which had been exhibited at the Los Angeles County Fair. Also included is a very fine, approximately nineteen-inch-tall vase decorated with faces and bold brushwork, made in the mid-fifties, which had been exhibited in 1956 at the Oregon Ceramic Studio (now the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland) and which had fortuitously turned up as a result of the Voulkos & Co. quest to document Voulkos’ art. It is pictured at left.

Also included are examples of work by ceramists Glen Lukens, Laura Andreson, Carlton Ball, Dora De Larios, Betty Davenport Ford, Otto & Vivika Heino, Anthony Ivins, William Manker, John Mason, Mac McClain, Harrison McIntosh, Gertrud & Otto Natzler, Susan Peterson, Kenneth Price and Paul Soldner among others. A full-color, 200-page publication has been produced to augment the show with essays by James F. Elliot-Bishop, Christy Johnson, Jo Lauria, Elaine Levin, Harold B. Nelson, Dr. Billie P. Sessions and Dr. Cecile Whiting along with fifty historic photographs and eighty images of representative works in the exhibition.

To learn more, please visit the AMOCA website or telephone 1.909.865.3146. This exhibition is part of the region-wide Pacific Standard Time initiative, Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945 to 1980.
 
 



 
 
  

 
Pacific Asia Museum: 46 N. Los Robles: A History of the Pasadena Art Museum

On view beginning November 18, 2011 through April 8, 2012 at the Pacific Asia Museum is an exhibition exploring the history of the Pasadena Art Museum during a time when America’s cultural life was changing dramatically. During this period, the Pasadena Art Museum pioneered groundbreaking exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, much of which has not been seen in Southern California since. In 1942, the Pasadena Museum Association merged with the Pasadena Art Institute which was founded in the late 1920s, relocated to 46 North Los Robles Avenue in Pasadena, California and was subsequently renamed the Pasadena Art Museum. It moved to its new building on Colorado Boulevard in 1969 and in 1974, Norton Simon assumed management of the museum, renaming it the Norton Simon Museum of Art. In 1971, the building at 46 N. Los Robles became the Pacific Asia Museum which is one of four institutions in the United States dedicated exclusively to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. As part of the Pacific Standard Time collaboration, the museum takes this opportunity to delve into the past of this unique building, to share its story and celebrate its leadership in the art world. The show is guest curated by Jay Belloli, who served as Director of Armory Arts Programs at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena from 1990 to 2010. Fittingly called 46 N. Los Robles: A History of the Pasadena Art Museum, the artists featured in this exhibit include Larry Bell, Joseph Cornell, Richard Diebenkorn, Marcel Duchamp, Paul Klee, Ed Moses, Claes Oldenburg, Ed Ruscha, Kurt Schwitters, Peter Voulkos and Andy Warhol among others. Voulkos had his first solo museum exhibition in California at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1958 which featured his large-scale ceramic sculptures and paintings. He is represented in this show with a circa 1958 ceramic work.

The Pacific Asia Museum is located at 46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, California 91101. For more information visit the museum website, or call 626.449.2742 x22. This exhibition is part of the region-wide Pacific Standard Time initiative, Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945 to 1980.
 
 

vase
Vase, 1958
Photo: schoppleinstudio.com

 
 
  

 
Our Treasures: Highlights from the Minnesota Museum of American Art

Voulkos' 1958 work entitled Vase, formerly known as Bird Vase and pictured at left, is one of thirty objects selected by curator and director Kristin Makholm from the Minnesota Museum of American Art's collection of over thirty-eight-hundred works of art for inclusion in this exhibition called Our Treasures: Highlights from the Minnesota Museum of American Art which is touring the following venues:

Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnnesota, August 23-October 23, 2011.
Hillstrom Museum of Art, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnnesota, November 21, 2011-January 27, 2012.
Perlman Teaching Museum, Weitz Center for Creativity, Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, March 30-May 13, 2012.
It will subsequently travel to the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota, in the fall of 2012 and the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis in the winter of 2013.

Voulkos made this eighteen-and-one-eighth-inches-high glazed stoneware piece at the University of Montana in Missoula where he taught summer courses in 1958 and 1959. It was acquired by the Minnesota Museum of American Art from the Fiber-Clay-Metal: The Saint Paul Gallery Fifth Biennial in 1959, one of the biennials organized by the museum between 1952 and 1964. This piece was also exhibited in two Voulkos retrospectives: the 1978-79 exhibition organized by the American Crafts Council which traveled nationally to four venues and the 1995 exhibition organized by the Sezon Museum of Art in Tokyo which opened there and then traveled to Kyoto. More recently, it was included in Fresh from the Studio: Craft in Twin Cities Collections, 1950-1970, an exhibit presented at the Minneapolis Institute of Art to inaugurate its new wing designed by Michael Graves.

Accompanying the current exhibit is a handsomely-designed, eighty-four-page, full-color catalogue which may be ordered online directly from the Minnesota Museum of American Art. To learn more about the exhibit, please visit the MMAA website. To purchase the catalogue directly from their site click here or call 651.797.4057.
 
 

vase
Untitled Vase, 1969-71
Photo: schoppleinstudio.com

 
 
  

 
Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics: The Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection

Cindi Strauss, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston curator of modern and contemporary decorative arts and design, has organized an exhibition of nearly two-hundred ceramics and works on paper culled from approximately four-hundred-seventy-five artworks acquired from the collection of Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio in 2007. Called Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics: The Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection, it will open in Houston on March 4th of 2012 and run through June 3rd. Highlights from a portion of the collection went on view in 2008 but the focus of this exhibition is to present the museum’s acquisition on a large scale for the first time with an organizing principle that stems from two concepts -that of the vessel and that of sculpture- both those that are functional followed by works that challenge traditional uses of clay.

Among the works to be shown is Voulkos’ 1969-71 Untitled Vase/Stack pictured at left -an almost-forty-one-inch high low-fired clay piece with pass-throughs, cobalt slip/engobe and glaze. Voulkos originally called this a Vase and it was known by that title when it was included in his retrospective exhibition that traveled nationally in 1978-79 and in publications in which it was reproduced. The word “stack” has more recently come to be appended to the name.

Among other artists featured are Ralph Bacerra, Anthony Caro, Marek Cecula, Ken Ferguson, Laszlo Fekete, Lucio Fontana, Viola Frey, George Jeanclos, Kitamura Junko, Kenjiro Kawai, Anne Kraus, Geert Lap, Jean-Pierre Laroque, Bodil Manz, Christine McHorse, Ron Nagle, Richard Notkin, Claes Oldenburg, Lawson Oyekan, Grayson Perry, Ken Price, Adrian Saxe, Richard Slee, Beth Cavener Stichter, Akio Takamori, Betty Woodman and Beatrice Wood.

Accompanying the exhibition is a 504-page catalogue co-published by the MFAH and Yale University Press with over 700 color pictures, an illustrated checklist of the collection and texts by Garth Clark, Cindi Strauss, Glenn Adamson, Mark Del Vecchio, Ezra Shales, and Jorunn Veiteberg. To verify scheduling and dates, call MFAH Communications at 713-639-7554 or visit the MFAH website.
 
 

Babe the Blue Ox
Babe the Blue Ox, 1954

 
 
  

 
Northwest Modern: Revisiting the Annual Ceramic Exhibitions of 1950-1964

Curated by Kat Perez, Exhibition Coordinator, the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon presents Northwest Modern: Revisiting the Annual Ceramic Exhibitions of 1950-64, an examination of the juried exhibitions held at the Oregon Ceramic Studio, now the Museum of Contemporary Craft. Concurrent with the Museum’s 75th anniversary year, the exhibition provides visitors with a deeper look into an important time period in the life of the institution, as well as the trends in ceramics during the mid-twentieth century. Northwest Modern is installed chronologically by each Annual exhibition, with original artwork and ephemera from the museum’s archives shown alongside reproductions of photographs that tell the story of West Coast ceramics. The survey of these eleven exhibitions also provides a behind-the-scenes look into the inner workings of the institution at that time. Dates of the show are August 18, 2011 to February 25, 2012.

Voulkos participated in at least a half-dozen of the Annuals and is represented in the current show with among others, a deeply Carved Bowl, 1951; a 1952 Vase; a circa 1953 Striped Vase and a 1954 tall vase, Babe the Blue Ox, which is pictured at left. In 2008, the museum produced a very fine catalogue, Unpacking the Collection: Selections from the Museum of Contemporary Craft, which is an excellent source of documentation for the Annuals along with fine color images of the above-referenced works and many other objects in the MoCC collection.

To learn more about the show or to purchase the catalogue, please contact the Museum of Contemporary Craft by telephone, (503) 223-2654 or visit the MoCC website for more information.
 
 


 
 
  

 
75 Gifts for 75 Years

Running almost concurrrently with Northwest Modern: Revisiting the Annual Ceramic Exhibitions of 1950-64, Curator Namita Gupta Wiggers at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, Oregon, has organized 75 Gifts for 75 Years to celebrate the museum’s seventy-fifth anniversary and its role as one of the nation’s oldest institutions dedicated to craft, Collectors from the Pacific Northwest and beyond have generously donated and promised gifts to the museum’s permanent collection which fill important gaps in the museum’s mission to document craft and its place in culture since 1937. Through a series of programs including connections with and in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art classes, the exhibition will show how gifts to the collection function as a teaching tool in the special learning environment we call “the museum.” The show opened July 28, 2011 and will be on view through February 25, 2012.
 
For more information about the exhibit and these events, please contact the museum by telephone (503) 223-2654 or visit the MoCC website.
 
 

Vase
Vee, 1958
Photo: schoppleinstudio.com

 
 
  

 
Crafting Modernism: Mid-Century American Art and Design

The Museum of Arts and Design in New York has mounted Crafting Modernism: Mid-Century American Art and Design, the fourth exhibition in an ongoing series of shows for The Centenary Project. The first three exhibitions of this in-depth examination of American craft in the twentieth century were presented at the museum between 1993 and 1995. Organized by MAD curators Jeannine Falino and Jennifer Scanlan, the current show focuses on furniture, textiles, tableware, ceramics, glass, jewelry, sculpture and painting made in the period between 1945 and 1969. The museum was originally founded in 1956 by philanthropist Aileen Osborn Webb as the Museum of Contemporary Crafts; the name was later changed to the American Craft Museum and it is now known as the Museum of Arts and Design. This show was made possible in part through the generosity of the National Endowment for the Arts among others. It will be on view from October 12, 2011 through January 15, 2012 and then travel to the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York where it can be seen from February 27 to May 21, 2012.

Included in the show is Voulkos’ Vee, 1958, pictured at left, now in the collection of the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, one of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, a gift from the estate of John Lowell Jones and Charlotte Johnson Jones in 2004. This over-thirty-five-inch tall stoneware sculpture with sand, iron and cobalt drawing was included in both Voulkos’ 1979-79 retrospective organized by the American Crafts Council which traveled nationally and his 1995 retrospective organized by the Sezon Museum of Art in Tokyo which was held there before traveling to the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto.

Among other artists in the exhibition are Anni Albers, Robert Arneson, Clayton Bailey, Alexander Calder, Arthur Espenet Carpenter, Wendell Castle, Margaret Choy, Michael Cohen, Ray and Charles Eames, Claire Falkenstein, Arline M. Fisch, Michael Frimkess, Trude Guermonprez, Edith Heath, Sheila Hicks, Ka Kwong Hui, John Kapel, Howard Kottler, Jack Lenor Larsen, Dorothy Liebes, Sam Maloof, John Mason, James Melchert, George Nakashima, Gertrud Natzler, Lloyd Kiva New, Isamu Noguchi, Jack Prip, Ed Rossbach, Edwin Scheier, Kay Sekimachi, Ron Senungetuk, Richard Shaw, Ramona Solberg, Rudolf Staffel, Toshiko Takaezu, Lenore Tawney, Robert Turner, Marguerite Wildenhain, Claire Zeisler and Ernest Ziegfeld.

A 368-page publication has been published to accompany the show with two-hundred-fifty color illustrations and essays by Glenn Adamson, Donald Albrecht, Elissa Auther, David L. Barquist, Ulsysses Grant Dietz, Patricia Failing, Jeannine Falino, Caroline M. Hannah, Ursula Ilse-Numan, Bruce Metcalf, Jennifer Scanlan and Lowery Stokes Sims. An erratum in the printing incorrectly identifies a picture of an installation, figure 6.4, page 123, as being Voulkos’ exhibition at Bonniers, New York in 1957 in the caption.

Please contact the museum at telephone 212.299.7777 or visit the MAD website for more information.
 
 

Plate
Untitled Plate, 1973
Photo: schoppleinstudio.com

 
 
  

 
Beyond Tradition: Art Legacies at the Richmond Art, Part II

With thanks to the Richmond Art Center, California, website for the following information: In continued celebration of the Richmond Art Center’s 75th Anniversary, Beyond Tradition: Art Legacies at the Richmond Art, Part II, features the work of recognized artists that have been a part of the center’s history from the 1970’s until the present. This exhibition is the partner to Beyond Tradition Part I that ran from March to June, 2011, and featured artists from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. The artists in this exhibition encompass talents across an array of disciplines including photography, painting, printmaking, ceramics, glass, video, sculpture, and installation. They investigate a range of subjects and represent the diversity of contemporary artists of the Bay Area. Curated by Emily Anderson and Anthony Pinata, the exhibition was on view from September 24 through November 12, 2011.

Artists in the show include Seyed Alavi, Mari Andrews, Curtis Arima, Ramekon O’Arwisters, Ray Beldner, Garry Knox Bennett, Mark Bulwinkle, Squeak Carnwath, Enrique Chagoya, Alan Chin, Bruce Conner, Edward Corbett, Tony DeLap, Stephen DeStaebler, Caleb Duarte, Ala Ebtekar, Nancy Mizuno Elliott, June Felter, Thekla Hammond, Rae Louise Hayward, Raymond Haywood, Al Honig, Lynn Hershman Leeson, JoeSam., Oliver Jackson, Tim Jag, Kerri Lee Johnson, Karl Kasten, Marianne Kolb, David King, Lawrence LaBianca, Therese Lahaie, Marvin Lipofsky, Hung Liu, JP Long, Jessamyn Lovell, Harry Lum, Matthew Matsuoka, Karl McDade, Melani McKim, Charlie Milgrim, George Miyasaki, Grace Munakata, Tomas Nakada, Emiko Nakano, Gabriel Navar, Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Ortbal, Gertrud Parker, Lucy Puls, Sonya Rapoport, Alan Rath, Rik Ritchey, Rigo 23, Jos Sances, Raymond Saunders, Tiffany Schmierer, Jan Hart Schuyers, Nancy Selvin, Richard Shaw, Louise Smith, Livia Stein, Sam Tchakalian, Robert Tomlinson, Andrée Singer Thompson, Carlos Villa, Shalene Valenzuela, Peter Voulkos, Ann Weber, Heather Wilcoxin, Jenifer Wofford, Kurt Wold, Robert Yarber, Wanxin Zhang. Voulkos was represented with one of his signature 1973 gas fired stoneware plates with porcelain “pass-throughs” cobalt oxide/slip and glaze which is pictured at left.

In a review of Beyond Tradition Part I of this two-part exhibition, Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle art critic, wrote of the Center that, “...its exhibition history - plus its ongoing service as a community arts instruction resource - gives the center bragging rights, as its 75th anniversary show, "Beyond Tradition: Art Legacies of the Richmond Art Center," vividly suggests... [and, in addition, that] ... A wall and a case full of ephemera - correspondence, announcements and such - evokes the center's remarkable role in bringing advanced art, and art controversies, to the Bay Area well ahead of expectations.”

For more information about the exhibition and activities at the Richmond Art Center, please call 510.620-6772 or 510.620.6776 or visit the RAC website.
 
 

Plate
Untitled Plate, 2000
Photo: schoppleinstudio.com

 
 
  

 
Peter Voulkos: A Survey

A survey of twenty-five works spanning Voulkos’ long career was presented at the Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica, California, from April 30-May 28, 2011 which featured a selection of bronze stacks, a bronze ice bucket, a large wood fired ceramic stack, Wedge, a 1974 untitled gas fired ceramic stack, several tea bowls from 1966 to the late 90s, a half-dozen wood fired plates from both the 1980s and 1990s, a few works on paper, both uniques and from editions, and a sampling of classically-formed functional works from the 1950s. The 2000 wood fired plate, pictured at left, was one of the last and one of the most rugged that Voulkos made. One especially-interesting treat was the opportunity to see, to contrast and to compare the same form, the 1974 stack, executed in two different media -a bronze version and the gas fired ceramic version from which the mold was taken and later cast in bronze.

For more information about the exhibit, please contact the Frank Lloyd Gallery via the gallery website or by telephone 310 264-3866.
 
 

monotype
Untitled, 1985
Photo: schoppleinstudio.com

 
Plate
Untitled Plate, 1980
Photo: schoppleinstudio.com

 
Stack
Untitled Stack, 1974
Photo: schoppleinstudio.com

 
 
  

 
Voulkos 101: A Survey Exhibition

This exhibition held at the Art Gallery, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill, California featured a small selection of twenty-two works in ceramic, bronze and print media along with related materials by and about Voulkos that was geared towards students unfamiliar with him or his work. Because teaching was an important part of his life -Voulkos often remarked that he learned more from his students than they did from him- attention was given to educational aspects of his working processes and how he handled materials and conditions that arose.

Voulkos was known principally for his ceramic work, initially for classically-formed wheel thrown functional pottery and later for pioneering experimental clay work from the mid-1950s onward. By the 1970s, he had honed his wheel thrown forms to what he called the “plate,” the “ice bucket” and the “stack” and throughout his career, he made “tea bowls.” The evolution and diversity in his shapes, markings, surfaces, handling of clay and firing processes was represented by three large plates executed in 1973, 1980 (pictured at left) and 1997, using the gas firing process, the wood firing begun in 1979 and later techniques that he explored in the nineties. A 1990 wood fired ice bucket and three tea bowls - a high fired, richly glazed, gas fired bowl made in 1973, a 1990 wood fired bowl and a 1999 soda fired tea bowl rounded out the ceramic work.

Representing Voulkos’ keen interest in printmaking were lithographs made in 1979; a 1985 monotype, pictured above left, along with an aluminum plate used to make the monotypes and still bearing the “ghost” image; a pair of 1994 prints from an edition varié and a number of small drypoints some of which are uniques and others from editions. Voulkos’ 1985 St. Elmo's Fire, one of a series of large collages which developed out of his work on monotypes, was also on view.

In the 1960s, after Voulkos’ move to Berkeley, he began to work with both cast and fabricated bronze which became increasingly monumental in scale. Included in the show is a maquette for his forty-seven-foot-long bronze sculpture, Sirius, the largest of his bronzes, now in the collection of the City of Dublin. In 1986, he began another series called the bronze editions -selecting from his ceramic work pieces he thought would translate well in the bronze medium- representing these was a 1974 stack, pictured at left.

Also playing in the gallery was a documentary entitled “Our Founding Mudder Who Art in Heaven: A Workshop with Peter Voulkos,” filmed and produced by Martin Holt of Montana Art Works. The one-hour DVD presented an intimate look at Voulkos’ working technique in his construction of a clay “stack” at a workshop, the Olympic Games of Clay, held in Ringebu, Norway in 1993.

Completing the material on display was a selection of Voulkos’ posters and announcements, ranging from 1956 to the present of his exhibitions and workshops and photos of him working, intended to impart a sense of the breadth of his work, his career and his personality. To provide further resource information, several exhibition catalogues and monographs were on hand.

This exhibition was in collaboration with the Voulkos & Co. Catalogue Project which is maintained by Sam Jornlin, who curated the show with assistance from Michele Krup, Art Department Chairperson, Diablo Valley College; Arthur Scott King, Art Gallery Coordinator, Diablo Valley College and Nicole Krup, [then] a junior at the University of California, Berkeley.

The show was on view from January 26 through March 19, 2009. For more information, please contact the DVC website, the Art Gallery page or telephone 925 685-1230 extension 2471.
 
 

Plate
Ukam, 1968
Photo: schoppleinstudio.com

 
 
  

 
Peter Voulkos: The Montana, Otis & Berkeley Years

This survey mounted at the Braunstein/Quay Gallery, San Francisco from January 22 to February 21, 2009, “follows the trajectory of Voulkos' career by exhibiting early functional works from Montana, to Los Angeles where the work started to loosen up, and finally, to Berkeley where his artistic expression would flourish. Special to this exhibition are a pair of diminutive cups from 1961 with allusions to the larger stacks that would come later. Like the stacks, these cups include slab work with punch through cut surfaces and resonate with the immense power found in his larger works.” The 1950s works demonstrate Voulkos’ use of wax-resist and sgraffito techniques and a vase made in 1957 is a fine example of his use of a slip-stencil technique. A sculptural work from 1959 for which the disposition had long been unknown was included. It had been exhibited in 1959 in La Céramique Contemporaine, sponsored by the Second International Congress of Contemporary Ceramics at the Museum voor Schone Kunsten in Ostend, Belgium, where Voulkos was awarded a silver medal for his work in this exhibition, and in the 1966 Abstract Expressionist Ceramics at the Art Gallery, University of California, Irvine. The latter two works were made in Los Angeles. Representing his work from the sixties, besides the two small cups, were a “Hand Plate” and a “Hand Jar” both made in 1963. The former comes from a series of thrown plates that Voulkos subsequently tore, ripped, distorted and maniplulated and which were shown at the Art Unlimited gallery, San Francisco in 1964. Also included, from the exhibit of the “blackware” works held at the Quay Gallery in 1968, were Ukam and Anaqua, both of which were made in Berkeley. Capping the display was an untitled 1974 gas fired stack and a funky teapot made in the 1950s but wood fired in the mid-1980s.

For more information, please contact Ruth Braunstein via the website, Braunstein/Quay, or telephone 415/278-9850.
 
 

 

 
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