Museum of Arts and Design
Through March 15, 2017
About the Exhibition
Spanning the years 1953–1968, Voulkos: The Breakthrough Years is the first exhibition to focus on the early career of Peter Voulkos, whose radical methods and ideas during this period opened up the possibilities for clay in ways that are still being felt today.
While trained as a traditional potter, Voulkos defied mid-century craft dictums of proper technique and form to completely reinvent his medium. He combined wheel throwing with slab building, traditional glazes with epoxy paint, figuration with abstraction, and made huge ceramic structures with complex internal engineering. The exhibition features approximately 31 examples from this crucial body of early work, most of which have not been exhibited on the East Coast for four decades. Also included are three of the artist’s rarely seen works in oil on canvas, which help to demonstrate how Voulkos developed his ideas concurrently in painting, sculpture, and pottery.
Voulkos is a central figure in the history of MAD, featured in numerous exhibitions, including two monographic surveys, and an exemplar of the cross-disciplinary thinking that the Museum supports. Both the exhibition and accompanying scholarly catalogue will provide a detailed account of the breakthrough works from Voulkos’ vital period of experimentation.