Billy Al Bengston

Abstract Expressionist Ceramics
John Coplans (Ed.)

This is the exhibition catalogue in which curator and editor John Coplans first coined the term “Abstract Expressionist Ceramics”.

A very rare piece of West Coast ceramics history, this handsome catalogue, designed by James Turrell and printed in a once-only edition of 1000 copies, was published in conjunction with the seminal 1966 University of California, Irvine survey exhibition (“Abstract Expressionist Ceramics”) of West Coast artists affiliated with Peter Voulkos and his pioneering work at the Ceramic Center at Otis Art Institute and the University of California, Berkeley.

Curated by John Coplans, the pivotal figure here is Peter Voulkos, but the catalogue also features incredible and rare photo documentation of the amazing early works of Billy Al Bengston, Michael Frimkess, John Mason, Malcolm McClain, James Melchert, Ron Nagle, Manuel Neri, Kenneth Price, and Henry Takemoto, presented in large colour and black and white photography alongside Coplans’ exhibition essay.

A very special, and super scarce item in the history of West Coast ceramic art.

* Condition: Very Good (only minor shelf wear/light creasing to back cover, internal pages/binding clean and tight)– All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

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Abstract Expressionist Ceramics
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Billy Al Bengston
Billy II: Paintings of Three Decades

This first edition of Billy Al Bengston’s “Billy II: (Paintings of Three Decades)” was published in 1988 on the occasion of an exhibition organized by the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, and The Oakland Museum.

Accompanied by texts from Jane Livingston, Karen Tsujimoto, Henry T. Hopkins and Maurice Tuchman, this 144 page book (including two gatefolds) colourfully showcases the flamboyant paintings of iconic Venice, Los Angeles-based artist/surfer/motorcycle racer Billy Al Bengston.

Bengston’s work in painting and sculpture (a key artist of the Ferus Gallery group, first exhibiting there in 1958) was aligned with ‘West Coast Pop’. He employed industrial materials and techniques associated with the decoration of motorcycle tanks and surfboards in the creation of his works; the polished surfaces he achieved with spray lacquer connected him to early conceptions of Finish Fetish. Through the years he has collaborated with friends Frank Gehry and Ed Ruscha, amongst others.

This book, designed by Dana Levy, also includes a chronology, exhibition checklist, selected exhibitions and a selected bibliography.

* Condition: Very Good (only minor shelf wear, tanning)– All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.

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Billy Al Bengston - Billy II: Paintings of Three Decades
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