Peter Voulkos was born to Greek immigrant parents in Bozeman, Montana. He spent his early art career studying painting and ceramics at Montana State University. In 1953, he was invited to teach at Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina. The early fifties were an exciting time for Voulkos' work, in 1954 his work took an abstract and sculptural form. He founded the art ceramics department at the University of California, Berkeley where he taught from 1959-1985. Voulkos turned the craft medium into a viable art form and his students included artists John Mason and Ken Price.

Peter Voulkos demonstrates wedging clay for a class at the University of Kentucky in 1968 Image via exploreuk.uky.edu Peter Voulkos demonstrates wedging clay for a class at the University of Kentucky in 1968
Image via exploreuk.uky.edu

In the later stages of his career, Voulkos primarily fired in the anagama kiln of Peter Callas in New Jersey, which introduced and Japanese wood fired aesthetics to America. Volumes and Callas would go on to collaborate together for the next 23 years. This partnership and the work produced during this time, is considered by many curators and collectors to be the most successful period of his career. Voulkos' works are freely-formed in structure and have vibrant decorations. During the shaping process, Voulkos would tear, pound, and gouge the clay.

Voulkos' works have been on display around the world, including the Japanese Folk Crafts Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Search realized prices for Peter Voulkos here.

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