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Sculpture: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
1959 was a pivotal moment in Peter Voulkos' career. Art in America named him one of its New Talent artists in sculpture, and he transitioned from teaching at Otis College (where he had taught and worked with artists such as Ken Price) to establishing and heading up the ceramics department at the University of California, Berkeley. Voulkos' metamorphosis from throwing traditional pots on a wheel to building ceramic sculptures, represented in the unconventionality of this object, led to his termination at Otis. In this work, Voulkos' careful stacking and cantilevering of wedge-like forms with smooth, planar surfaces result in what appears to be a three-dimensional, geometric formulation of a calligraphic gesture. The hand-erasing technique seen here is one of two approaches Voulkos applied in his early sculptural pieces. Contrast it with the hands-on spontaneity and Abstract Expressionist-inspired work Sevillanas on view in Gallery 275, made at virtually the same moment. In Sevillanas, Voulkos assembles disparate clay forms and intentionally preserves the physical impressions of his hands through irregular gouges in the clay surface. Both sculptures feature the unusual blue glaze that Voulkos only used for a brief period of time in the late 1950s and early 60s.
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Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: November 18, 2011