Drawn from the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Color & Fire: Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics, 1950-2000 accompanies a major touring exhibition on the history of ceramic art in the second half of the twentieth century. Illustrated with more than 250 color photographs, Color & Fire explores the roles of key artists and the major stylistic movements they developed during the decades of pioneering innovation.
Based on the premise that the history of studio ceramics can be regarded as a series of breakthroughs or milestones, Color & Fire highlights the moments when talented artists came together to produce work in clay that challenged traditions and promoted aesthetic freedom. In the early years of the twentieth century, pottery was primarily mass-produced in factories, where specialists in wheel throwing, glazing, and kiln firing worked under a system of divided labor. In the 1930s and 1940s, ceramists such as the renowned team of Gertrud and Otto Natzler began to perform all of these exacting functions-from mixing clay to firing kilns-in their own studios, creating one-of-a-kind pots, breathtaking in design and construction. Since that time, ceramic art has followed a metaphorical journey from the earth to the air, as concerns with utility, materials, and techniques have given way to abstract conceptual considerations.
In Los Angeles in the 1950s, Peter Voulkos and his students upset the traditional values of craft pottery and the Bauhaus- inspired “form follows function” doctrine by creating nonfunctional, oversized, off-kilter vessels with cracks and holes, along with massive Abstract Expressionist monuments. In the 1960s in northern California, Robert Arneson and his students shattered taboos against clay as a sculptural medium in the oversized, off-kilter vessels with cracks and holes, along with massive Abstract Expressionist monuments. In the 1960s in northern California, Robert Arneson and his students shattered taboos against clay as a sculptural medium in the hands of potters with their radical, irreverent, and satirical “Funk” pieces. Today, no longer confined to the decorative arts or other craft categories, ceramic artists around the world explore an unlimited range of influences, styles, and ideas, engaging in a graceful and inventive dialogue with centuries of ceramic tradition.
A celebration as well as a valuable art-historical survey, Color & Fire: Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics, 1950-2000 showcases the finest works form the unparalleled collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Accessible to the novice as well as to the enthusiast, the book includes essays by Grechen Adkins, Garth Clark, Jo Lauria, Rebecca Niederlander, Susan Peterson, and Peter Selz.
* Condition: Very Good – All care is taken to provide accurate condition details of used books, photos available on request.
- Color and Fire
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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.
- Abstract Expressionist Ceramics
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Magdalena Suarez Frimkess, Michael Frimkess, John Mason, Ron Nagle, Peter Shire
Curated by Ricky Swallow
GRAPEVINE~ documents an exhibition curated by artist Ricky Swallow at David Kordansky Gallery during the summer of 2013. It focuses on the work of five California-based artists who redefined the use of clay in contemporary art, and includes images of works created over a period of more than 50 years. Ceramic sculptures by Magdalena Suarez Frimkess, Michael Frimkess, John Mason, Ron Nagle, and Peter Shire exemplify the ways in which the medium underwent dramatic changes after World War II. Also included are select works by other artists influential in this dialogue, such as Ken Price and Peter Voulkos. An essay by Swallow explores the movement’s idiosyncrasies and cross-currents, as well as its influence on subsequent generations of artists.
Text: Ricky Swallow
Editors: Alexis Kerin & Stuart Krimko
Photography: Fredrik Nilsen
Design: Sinisa Mackovic & Robert Milne
Typeface: Jubilee GRAPEVINE~ by Fabian Harb
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