PRINT November 1966

Abstract Expressionism in Ceramics

QUITE NEGLECTED IN MOST ACCOUNTS of the devel­opment of recent West Coast art is the brief period during the middle-fifties (roughly from 1954, when Peter Voulkos arrived in Los Angeles, to 1958) when a group of some of the most tal­ented and inventive artists in California shared an intense involvement in ceramics. The brilliant body of work produced during this period has remained relatively little-known, although it con­tains the germinal elements of the mature styles of many well-known West Coast artists. It also produced a considerably far-reaching revolution in ceramics itself, and constituted the most ingeni­ous regional adaptation of the spirit of Abstract Expressionism that has yet emerged. Undoubtedly, what has prevented this work from receiving its proper due hitherto has been the hangover of an outmoded conception of ceramics as a minor art at best, a mere “craft” at least.

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