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Peter Voulkos Art

American, 1924-2002

Peter Voulkos was a West Coast sculptor known for incorporating an array of modernist influences into his ceramics practice. Widely acknowledged as the progenitor of a profound transformation in American ceramics known variously as American Clay Revolution or the California Clay Movement, Voulkos is considered the seminal figure in the development of contemporary ceramic art in America.

As both a working artist and educator, Voulkos was instrumental in unleashing a transformative wave of creativity in clay. As the originating force behind a novel, uniquely American movement in ceramics, Voulkos’ legacy and present-day influence on the medium cannot be overstated.

Voulkos studied painting and printmaking under the GI Bill at Montana State College after serving as an airplane gunner in the US Army in World War II. He soon discovered a passion for sculpture, graduating with an MFA in 1952.

An influential educator with a lengthy career at various institutions, Voulkos established the ceramics department at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now the Otis College of Art and Design), where he taught from 1954–59, and at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught from 1959 until his retirement in 1985. He also taught at Black Mountain College and the Archie Bray Foundation.

Voulkos toured universities throughout the United States conducting live ceramic workshops to audiences until his death. Notable students of his include Paul Soldner, John Mason, Ken Price, Billy Al Bengston, Ron Nagle, Stephen de Staebler and James Melchert.

Voulkos was the recipient of many awards throughout his career, including the Gold Medal at the International Exposition of Ceramics (1995, Cannes, France); the Rodin Museum Prize at the First Paris Biennale (1955, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France); a Guggenheim Fellowship (1984); a Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement (1997, College Art Association); and honorary doctorates from four American art schools.

Artworks by Voulkos have been exhibited at major institutions around the world, including at the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY); the Museum of Art and Design (New York, NY); the Smithsonian Museum of American Art (Washington, D.C.); the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA); the San Francisco Museum of Art (San Francisco, CA); the Seattle Art Museum (Seattle, WA); the American Craft Museum (New York, NY) and the National Museum of Modern Art (Tokyo, Japan).

Voulkos has artworks in in the permanent collections of many major international institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY); the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC); the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA); the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA); the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA); and many more.

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Artist: Peter Voulkos
Voulkos, Ceramic Sculptural bowl hand signed by renowned sculptor and ceramicist
By Peter Voulkos
Located in New York, NY
Peter Voulkos Ceramic Sculptural Dish, ca. 1985 Sculpted ceramic Hand-signed by artist, Incised signature on the base. 1.5 x 11.5 inches This charger plate by Voulkos features a Greek-influenced stylized birds and leaf design. Peter Voulkos is an American artist of Greek descent. The abstraction of animal and nature elements paired with the earthy, mottled gray and brown against brown background make this work beautiful. This work was featured in the exhibition "On Black Mountain: The Bauhaus Legacy in America", at the Sager Braudis Gallery (now Sager Reeves), in Columbia Missouri from April 5, 2019 to April. 27, 2019 and is reproduced in page 53 of the exhibition catalogue. We will provide a complimentary copy of the exhibition catalogue to the buyer of this work. Born in 1924 to Greek immigrant parents in the town of Bozeman, Montana, Peter Voulkos is one of America’s most significant sculptors of the 20th century. Voulkos got his start in art in the late 1940s, when he was studying at Montana State College, Bozeman on the G.I. Bill, after being drafted and serving as an airplane armorer-gunner in the Pacific in World War II. In classes with Frances Senska, he discovered ceramics, the medium that would characterize his career. After graduating from Montana State College, Bozeman in 1951, Voulkos moved west and earned his MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California. Returning to Montana after graduation, Voulkos attracted attention “as a prodigious natural potter and a producer of elegantly thrown functional earthenware,” according to Roberta Smith for the New York Times. He also produced dinnerware to sell through high-quality stores, and was noted for his wax-resist method of decoration.Voulkos gained a reputation as a master of ceramics techniques, winning twenty-nine prizes and awards from 1949 through 1955. However, a summer spent teaching at the experimental Black Mountain College (he was invited to teach at BMC by Karen Karnes) near Asheville, North Carolina in 1953 resulted in a dramatic shift in Voulkos’s artistic priorities, as well as his aesthetic. It was at Black Mountain College that Voulkos met Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage, Merce Cunningham and Charles Olson. He then visited New York City (as a guest of pianist David Tudor and Mary Catherine Richards) and encountered Philip Guston, Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline—Abstract Expressionist painters who influenced the new direction Voulkos would go on to pursue. In 1954, Voulkos was invited to teach at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now Otis), and he established a new ceramics department and graduate program that attracted other young artists including John Mason, Ken Price, Billy Al Bengston and Paul Soldner. It was here that, inspired by the scale and spontaneity of the New York School, Voulkos began to build progressively larger works that cast aside utility and abandoned ceramic conventions. Decoration became aggressive, as he slashed at and pierced the clay, which he then energetically painted with glaze. Peter Voulkos exhibited these new works in shows at the Landau Gallery in Los Angeles, which announced to the world a new way of approaching ceramics. Disagreements with the more conservative administrators of the LA County Art Institute led to Voulkos’s departure for the University of California, Berkeley, in 1959. While at Berkeley, Voulkos experimented with bronze and produced large-scale bronze sculpture, while continuing his ceramic work and doing demonstrations of ceramics throughout the U.S. In 1979, a young ceramist named Peter Callas...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Mixed Media, Glaze, Ceramic

Large Tea Bowl (brown glaze)
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Peter Voulkos Large Tea Bowl (brown glaze) Stoneware and wood fired Circa mid-1990s 4.5 x 6 x 6 in Signed (bottom) COA provided Ref.: 924802-1004 Peter Voulkos (popular name of Panagiotis Voulkos; January 29, 1924 – February 16, 2002) was an American artist of Greek descent. He is known for his abstract expressionist ceramic sculptures, which crossed the traditional divide between ceramic crafts and fine art. While his early work was fired in electric and gas kilns, later in his career he primarily fired in the anagama kiln of Peter Callas, who had helped to introduce Japanese wood firing aesthetics in the United States. After serving in the United States Army during the Second World War, Voulkos studied painting and printmaking at Montana State College, in Bozeman (now Montana State University), where he was also introduced to ceramics; Frances Senska...
Category

1990s Modern Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Stoneware, Glaze

Large Tea Bowl (blue glaze)
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Peter Voulkos Large Teabowl (blue glaze) Stoneware and wood fired Circa mid-1990s 4.25 x 6.5 x 5.5 in Signed (bottom) COA provided Ref.: 924802-1003 Peter Voulkos (popular name of Panagiotis Voulkos; January 29, 1924 – February 16, 2002) was an American artist of Greek descent. He is known for his abstract expressionist ceramic sculptures, which crossed the traditional divide between ceramic crafts and fine art. While his early work was fired in electric and gas kilns, later in his career he primarily fired in the anagama kiln of Peter Callas, who had helped to introduce Japanese wood firing aesthetics in the United States. After serving in the United States Army during the Second World War, Voulkos studied painting and printmaking at Montana State College, in Bozeman (now Montana State University), where he was also introduced to ceramics; Frances Senska...
Category

1990s Modern Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Stoneware, Glaze

Peter Voulkos 'Atlantis Codex Series II' Signed Limited Edition Print
By Peter Voulkos
Located in San Rafael, CA
Peter Voulkos (American, 1924-2002) Atlantis Codex Series II, 1984 Drypoint/etching Pencil signed lower right, edition 3/35 Image: 24in H x 17 3/4in L. Sheet: 30in H x 22 1/2 in L. ...
Category

Late 20th Century Abstract Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Etching, Drypoint

Wood Fired Platter by Peter Voulkos
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Morton Grove, IL
stoneware and woodfired Provenance - Charles Cowles Gallery, NYC The Nevica Project A West Coast potter and sculptor, Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) led in the development of pottery as an art form. . With an MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts (1952), he taught at Black Mountain College (1953) where he was exposed to the avant-garde. In 1954, Voulkos moved to Los Angeles to become the chairman of a newly established ceramics department at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (later renamed the Otis Art Institute) and soon assembled a remarkable group of students: Paul Soldner, Jerry Rothman, Kenneth Price, John Mason, Henry Takemoto...
Category

1980s Contemporary Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Stoneware

untitled
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Morton Grove, IL
rare sumi ink painting
Category

1990s Peter Voulkos Art

"Teabowl" by Peter Voulkos
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Morton Grove, IL
stoneware and woodfired signed by artist
Category

1990s Contemporary Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Stoneware, Glaze

Plate CR952-W
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Peter Voulkos Title: Plate CR952-W Medium: Woodfired ceramic Year: 1989 Signed and dated by the artist Size: approx. 20.5 x 5 inches A West Coast potter and sculptor, Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) led in the development of pottery as an art form. . With an MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts (1952), he taught at Black Mountain College (1953) where he was exposed to the avant-garde. In 1954, Voulkos moved to Los Angeles to become the chairman of a newly established ceramics department at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (later renamed the Otis Art Institute) and soon assembled a remarkable group of students: Paul Soldner, Jerry Rothman, Kenneth Price, John Mason, Henry Takemoto...
Category

1980s Post-Modern Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Ceramic

Plate CR1056-W
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Peter Voulkos Title: Plate CR1056-W Medium: Woodfired ceramic Year: 1992 Signed and dated by the artist Size: approx. 24 x 4.5 inches A West Coast potter and sculptor, Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) led in the development of pottery as an art form. . With an MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts (1952), he taught at Black Mountain College (1953) where he was exposed to the avant-garde. In 1954, Voulkos moved to Los Angeles to become the chairman of a newly established ceramics department at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (later renamed the Otis Art Institute) and soon assembled a remarkable group of students: Paul Soldner, Jerry Rothman, Kenneth Price, John Mason, Henry Takemoto...
Category

1990s Abstract Expressionist Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Ceramic

Plate 1329-W
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Peter Voulkos Title: Plate 1329-W Medium: Woodfired ceramic Year: 1998 Signed and dated by the artist Size: approx. 20.5 x 21 x 5.25 inches A West Coast potter and sculptor, Peter V...
Category

1990s American Modern Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Ceramic

Plate CR1190-W
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Peter Voulkos Title: Plate CR1190-W Medium: Woodfired ceramic Year: 1995 Signed and dated by the artist Size: approx. 19.5 x 20.5 x 5.75 inches A West Coast potter and sculptor, Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) led in the development of pottery as an art form. . With an MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts (1952), he taught at Black Mountain College (1953) where he was exposed to the avant-garde. In 1954, Voulkos moved to Los Angeles to become the chairman of a newly established ceramics department at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (later renamed the Otis Art Institute) and soon assembled a remarkable group of students: Paul Soldner, Jerry Rothman, Kenneth Price, John Mason, Henry...
Category

1990s Modern Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Ceramic

Wood Fired Platter
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Wood Fired Platter Material: Stoneware and woodfired Year: 1989 Signed Dimensions: 3 x 22 x 22" Provenance - Charles Cowles Gallery, NYC A West Coast potte...
Category

1980s Abstract Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Stoneware

Untitled (Monotype)
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Peter Voulkos Title: Untitled Print Year: 1984 Medium: Monotype Signed and Dated Size: 42″x 29″ A West Coast potter and sculptor, Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) led in the development o...
Category

1980s Contemporary Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Monoprint

Untitled (Monotype)
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Peter Voulkos Title: Untitled Print Year: 1984 Medium: Monotype Signed and Dated Size: 28″x 22″ A West Coast potter and sculptor, Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) led in the development o...
Category

1980s Contemporary Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Monoprint

Untitled (Monotype)
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Peter Voulkos Title: Untitled Print Year: 1984 Medium: Monotype Signed and Dated Size: 24 1/2” x 18 1/2” image 29 3/4” x 22” paper size A West Coast potter and sculptor, Peter Voul...
Category

1980s Contemporary Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Monoprint

Untitled (Monotype)
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Peter Voulkos Title: Untitled Print Year: 1984 Medium: Monotype Signed and Dated Size: 17 1/2” x 11 x 3/4” image 29 3/4” x 22” paper size A West Coast potter and sculptor, Peter Vo...
Category

1980s Contemporary Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Monoprint

Untitled (Monotype)
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Peter Voulkos Title: Untitled Print Year: 1984 Medium: Monotype Signed and Dated Size: 23 1/2” x 17 3/4” image 29 3/4” x 22” paper size
Category

1980s Abstract Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Monoprint

Untitled Dry Point Etching CR 313-PR
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Dimensions : Image 7 7/8” x 5 7/8”, Paper 16” x 12” Printed at Alfred University Press, Alfred, NY Chop mark: Alfred University Press Signed: Pencil 15/20 Voulkos ‘98 Peter Voulkos (popular name of Panagiotis Voulkos; January 29, 1924 – February 16, 2002) was an American artist of Greek descent. He is known for his abstract expressionist ceramic sculptures, which crossed the traditional divide between ceramic crafts and fine art. While his early work was fired in electric and gas kilns, later in his career he primarily fired in the anagama kiln of Peter Callas...
Category

1990s Abstract Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Drypoint, Etching

Untitled Dry Point Etching CR 314-PR
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Dimensions : Image 9 7/8” x 7 7/8”, Paper 19” x 15” Printed at Alfred University Press, Alfred, NY Chop mark: Alfred University Press Signed: Pencil 11/20 Voulkos ‘98 Peter Voulkos (popular name of Panagiotis Voulkos; January 29, 1924 – February 16, 2002) was an American artist of Greek descent. He is known for his abstract expressionist ceramic sculptures, which crossed the traditional divide between ceramic crafts and fine art. While his early work was fired in electric and gas kilns, later in his career he primarily fired in the anagama kiln of Peter Callas...
Category

1990s Contemporary Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Drypoint, Etching

Untitled Print CR203-Pr
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Monotype Dimensions : 44.5 x 30.75 inches image and paper Peter Voulkos (popular name of Panagiotis Voulkos; January 29, 1924 – February 16, 2002) was an American artist of Greek descent. He is known for his abstract expressionist ceramic sculptures, which crossed the traditional divide between ceramic crafts and fine art. While his early work was fired in electric and gas kilns, later in his career he primarily fired in the anagama kiln of Peter Callas, who had helped to introduce Japanese wood firing aesthetics in the United States. After serving in the United States Army during the Second World War, Voulkos studied painting and printmaking at Montana State College, in Bozeman (now Montana State University), where he was also introduced to ceramics; Frances Senska...
Category

1980s Abstract Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Monotype

Untitled Print CR238-Pr
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Monotype Dimensions : 42 x 29 1/16 inches image and paper Peter Voulkos (popular name of Panagiotis Voulkos; January 29, 1924 – February 16, 2002) was an American artist of Greek descent. He is known for his abstract expressionist ceramic sculptures, which crossed the traditional divide between ceramic crafts and fine art. While his early work was fired in electric and gas kilns, later in his career he primarily fired in the anagama kiln of Peter Callas, who had helped to introduce Japanese wood firing aesthetics in the United States. After serving in the United States Army during the Second World War, Voulkos studied painting and printmaking at Montana State College, in Bozeman (now Montana State University), where he was also introduced to ceramics; Frances Senska...
Category

1980s Contemporary Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Monotype

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Clay Charger
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Located in Missouri, MO
Claycharger, 1980 By Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) Diameter: 21" Height: 5" Signed and Dated on the Bottom Few artists can revolutionize an ancient medium, but Peter Voulkos did just th...
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20th Century Abstract Peter Voulkos Art

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Peter Voulkos Teabowl Wood fired stoneware 4.5 x 8.25 x 7.5" Signed by artist 1994 A West Coast potter and sculptor, Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) led in the development of pottery as a...
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vase by Peter Voulkos
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Morton Grove, IL
Rare bottle vase form by Peter Voulkos. midcentury modern. Peter Voulkos stoneware and glaze 11.25 x 4.75 x 4.75” circa 1960 signed “Voulkos” on base A West Coast potter and sculpt...
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Untitled Charger (Gas Fired)
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Peter Voulkos Untitled Charger Gas Fired Year: 1973 Size: 20" diameter 4 1/2"deep Signed and dated by the artist A West Coast potter and sculptor, Peter Vou...
Category

1970s Abstract Peter Voulkos Art

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Untitled platter
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Morton Grove, IL
Peter Voulkos stoneware, porcelain, slip, woodfired fired 22 x 4.5 x 21" (inches) 1979 Signed on bottom “Voulkos 79” provenance- Toshiko Takaezu collection *note, very slight restora...
Category

1970s Modern Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

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Untitled platter
Untitled platter
H 4.5 in W 22 in D 21 in
Untitled (Color Lithograph)
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Peter Voulkos Title: Untitled Print Year: Circa 1979 Medium: Color Lithograph Signed Size: 29 3/4” x 23 1/2” *this print has a small tear upper right and wear on upper left corner ...
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1970s Abstract Peter Voulkos Art

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Lithograph

Untitled
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Morton Grove, IL
monoprint very rare provenance: The Nevica Project
Category

1960s Abstract Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Monoprint

Untitled
Untitled
H 12.5 in W 15.5 in
Early Face Bottle
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Morton Grove, IL
stoneware and glaze
Category

1950s Contemporary Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Stoneware, Glaze

Untitled Dry Point Etching CR 299-PR
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Kansas City, MO
Dimensions : Image 12” x 19”, Paper 20” x 15” Printed at Anderson Ranch, Aspen, CO Printmaker: Robert Brinker Chop mark: Manose Studios Signed: Pencil 3...
Category

1990s Abstract Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Drypoint, Etching

untitled original early painting
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Morton Grove, IL
oil on paper Signed "VOULKOS 1955" This work was executed while Voulkos taught at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles. Contemporary of Rudy Autio, Frances Senska...
Category

1950s Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Oil, Paper

untitled monoprint
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Morton Grove, IL
monoprint 1/1 signed "VOULKOS 85" paper
Category

1980s Peter Voulkos Art

Materials

Paper

untitled monoprint
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Morton Grove, IL
monoprint on paper 1/1 signed "VOULKOS 85"
Category

1980s Abstract Peter Voulkos Art

Peter Voulkos art for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Peter Voulkos art available for sale on 1stDibs. You can also browse by medium to find art by Peter Voulkos in ceramic, monoprint, stoneware and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th century and is mostly associated with the contemporary style. Not every interior allows for large Peter Voulkos art, so small editions measuring 6 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of KX2: Ruth Avra + Dana Kleinman, Damon Hyldreth, and Beatriz Gerenstein. Peter Voulkos art prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $2,500 and tops out at $40,000, while the average work can sell for $6,950.

Artists Similar to Peter Voulkos

Questions About Peter Voulkos Art
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Peter Voulkos created large sculptures from clay, which he then cast in bronze. He was also known for creating intricate vases and plates. Shop a selection of Peter Voulkos pieces from some of the world’s top art dealers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    For his bronze-casted work, Peter Voulkos used the assemblage technique to create a sort of 3-D collage. He would also gouge and pinch his ceramic works to manipulate their traditional shape. On 1stDibs, you can shop a selection of Peter Voulkos pieces from some of the world’s top art dealers from the comfort of your home.

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