New York

Peter Voulkos

Braunstein/Quay Gallery

“I began to understand what art was all about through clay; I hadn’t even known what I was doing as a painter. Clay is an intimate thing—just beautiful! It’s a blob of nothing, then the minute you touch it, it moves.”

Peter Voulkos began as a painter and received his graduate degree in ceramics. But, through a combination of attending Black Mountain College in 1953 and meeting the Japanese master potter Hamada, he was intoxicated with the power and potential of ceramics as a high-art medium. Voulkos accepted the Japanese Tea Masters’ esthetic of the Zen idea of the embraced accident applied to the construction of pottery. This dovetailed certain of the gestural Abstract Expressionists’ ideas about painting composition, and Voulkos may be said to be the only person who combined the Tea Masters’ esthetic with Abstract Expressionism. Also, because he studied the classic ceramic works of the

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