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Peter Voulkos

American, 1924-2002

Peter Voulkos was a West Coast sculptor known for incorporating an array of modernist influences into his ceramics practice. Widely acknowledged as the progenitor of a profound transformation in American ceramics known variously as American Clay Revolution or the California Clay Movement, Voulkos is considered the seminal figure in the development of contemporary ceramic art in America.

As both a working artist and educator, Voulkos was instrumental in unleashing a transformative wave of creativity in clay. As the originating force behind a novel, uniquely American movement in ceramics, Voulkos’ legacy and present-day influence on the medium cannot be overstated.

Voulkos studied painting and printmaking under the GI Bill at Montana State College after serving as an airplane gunner in the US Army in World War II. He soon discovered a passion for sculpture, graduating with an MFA in 1952. An influential educator with a lengthy career at various institutions, he established the ceramics department at the Los Angeles County Art Institute (now the Otis College of Art and Design), where he taught from 1954–59, and at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught from 1959 until his retirement in 1985. He also taught at Black Mountain College and the Archie Bray Foundation.

Voulkos toured universities throughout the United States conducting live ceramic workshops to audiences until his death. Notable students of his include Paul Soldner, John Mason, Ken Price, Billy Al Bengston, Ron Nagle, Stephen de Staebler and James Melchert. Voulkos was the recipient of many awards throughout his career, including the Gold Medal at the International Exposition of Ceramics (1995, Cannes, France); the Rodin Museum Prize at the First Paris Biennale (1955, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France); a Guggenheim Fellowship (1984); a Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement (1997, College Art Association); and honorary doctorates from four American art schools.

Artworks by Voulkos have been exhibited at major institutions around the world, including at the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY); the Museum of Art and Design (New York, NY); the Smithsonian Museum of American Art (Washington, D.C.); the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA); the San Francisco Museum of Art (San Francisco, CA); the Seattle Art Museum (Seattle, WA); the American Craft Museum (New York, NY) and the National Museum of Modern Art (Tokyo, Japan).

Voulkos has artworks in in the permanent collections of many major international institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY); the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY); the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC); the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA); the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA); the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA); and many more.

Find authentic Peter Voulkos art today on 1stDibs.

(Biography provided by Malin Gallery)
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Peter Voulkos Oakland Museum Aluminum Relief
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Los Angeles, CA
A mixed-media plaque to commemorate the grand opening of the Oakland Museum of California, 1969. Made of cast aluminum with plastic frame.                   
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Peter Voulkos

Materials

Aluminum

Peter Voulkos Signed Mid-Century Modern Stoneware Pottery Vase, circa 1950s
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Studio City, CA
A fantastic early work (circa early 1950s) by Master Greek-American potter Peter Voulkos. Signed on base with incised signature by Voulkos. Voulkos is widely considered to be t...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Peter Voulkos

Materials

Stoneware

Peter Voulkos Signed Large Heavy Modern Glazed Stoneware Plate Charger, 1961
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Studio City, CA
A fantastic, freeform, heavy plate/ charger by American master potter Peter Voulkos who is known for his abstract expressionist ceramic pottery pieces and sculptures. Very unique and...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Peter Voulkos

Materials

Stoneware

Early Peter Voulkus Ceramic Vase
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Chicago, IL
Early Peter Voulkus ceramic vase early 1960'd [unsigned].
Category

1960s American Brutalist Vintage Peter Voulkos

Materials

Ceramic

Peter Voulkos American Studio Pottery Faces Tea Bowl
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire
A stunning vintage American Studio Pottery tea bowl decorated with Expressionist faces by Peter Voulkos. The stoneware tea bowl stands on a narrow rounded unglazed foot with a rounde...
Category

20th Century Modern Peter Voulkos

Materials

Pottery, Stoneware

Peter Voulkos Ceramic Charger with Two Female Nudes Dancing Beneath the Moon
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Dallas, TX
An early glazed stoneware platter from the breakthrough years of world-renowned sculptor Peter Voulkos. Originally purchased in the mid-1950s and acquired from the original owner. ...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Peter Voulkos

Materials

Stoneware

Peter Voulkos Studio Vase
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Phoenix, AZ
Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) - Black Studio Pot, circa 1953-1955. Signed “Voulkos” on the base. Voulkos, an American artist of Greek descent, was known for his Abstract Expressioni...
Category

1950s American Modern Vintage Peter Voulkos

Materials

Clay

Peter Voulkos American Studio Potter, Large Charger, circa 1950-1955
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Phoenix, AZ
Studio pottery charger by Peter Voulkos, circa 1950-1955. Two incised expressionist female figures with stylized bird and sun. Size: 18" W x 16 1/4" W x 1" H. In excellent conditio...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Peter Voulkos

Materials

Clay

Peter Voulkos Drypoint Etching
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Los Angeles, CA
1924-2002 A rare and late piece of art on paper by one of the great abstract ceramic artist of California. A nice print image of a stacked sculpture idea in textured sgraffito. The ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Peter Voulkos

Materials

Paper

Peter Voulkos Bronze Ice Bucket, 1986
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Dallas, TX
Peter Voulkos Untitled ice bucket, 1986 Bronze, # 1 of 5.
Category

1980s Vintage Peter Voulkos

Materials

Bronze

Richard Hirsch and Peter Voulkos Ceramic Altar Bowl with Weapon, 2001
By Richard A. Hirsch , Peter Voulkos
Located in New York, NY
Contemporary American ceramic artist Richard Hirsch and American ceramic artist Peter Voulkos' Altar Bowl with Weapon is raku-fired, hand built and hand sculptured. It was fired in P...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Modern Peter Voulkos

Materials

Ceramic

Peter Voulkos Stoneware Pottery Vase, 1950s
By Peter Voulkos
Located in San Diego, CA
An early studio work by Peter Voulkos. Glazed stoneware. Signed. C. 1950.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Peter Voulkos

Materials

Ceramic

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Ulfert Wilke Abstract Print, 1972
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Mr. Wilke was known as an abstract expressionist artist whom worked in a calligraphic style. He was also a teacher and collector, 1907-1987 His art is in collections throughout the ...
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nice esoteric art work canvas, black gesso, blue oil, thin wood frame.
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Nicholas Krushenick Colored Lithographs, 1965
By Nicholas Krushenick
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Nicholas Krushenick (1929-1999) one of the forerunners of the pop art movement original lithographs in colors on thick wove paper signed on the reverse in pencil and annoted "Tam Imp...
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Contemporary Mixed Media Painting by Di Vincente
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esoteric art textured black gesso with hand carved arc line on canvas, thin wood frame with painted wood sphere.
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Previously Available Items
Peter Voulkos Stoneware Pottery Vase, 1950s
By Peter Voulkos
Located in San Diego, CA
An early studio work by Peter Voulkos. Glazed stoneware. Signed. C. 1950.
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Peter Voulkos

Materials

Ceramic

Peter Voulkos Signed Large Heavy Modern Glazed Chawan Tea Bowl
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Studio City, CA
A fantastic, freeform, heavy chawan teabowl by American master potter Peter Voulkos. Very unique and scarce work with rare use of color. One of our personal favorites. Signed ...
Category

1990s American Modern Peter Voulkos

Materials

Earthenware

Ceramic Bowl by Pier Voulkos
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Palm Springs, CA
Ceramic bowl by Pier Voulkos dated 1981. Pier is the daughter of world renowned Peter Voulkos. Bowl measures 5.25" high and 7" diameter.
Category

1980s American Vintage Peter Voulkos

  • Ceramic Bowl by Pier Voulkos
  • Ceramic Bowl by Pier Voulkos
  • Ceramic Bowl by Pier Voulkos
  • Ceramic Bowl by Pier Voulkos
H 5.25 in. Dm 7 in.
Peter Voulkos Charger, 1978
By Peter Voulkos
Located in North Miami, FL
Wood fired stoneware charger by Peter Voulkos (American, 1924-2002). Signed and dated: [VOULKOS 78].
Category

1970s American Brutalist Vintage Peter Voulkos

Materials

Stoneware

  • Peter Voulkos Charger, 1978
  • Peter Voulkos Charger, 1978
  • Peter Voulkos Charger, 1978
  • Peter Voulkos Charger, 1978
H 4.5 in. Dm 23 in.
Peter Voulkos Bottle Form Stoneware Vase
By Peter Voulkos
Located in San Mateo, CA
Early ceramic vase by Peter Voulkos. This vase has a black glaze with brown undertones. Four sides of the vase are slightly flattened. The top portion is unglazed. There is a firing ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Peter Voulkos

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Stoneware

Peter Voulkos, American Abstract Untitled Watercolor, 1998
By Peter Voulkos
Located in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire
A rare opportunity to acquire an original American watercolor by Peter Voulkos. The watercolor, painted on paper is an abstract design in black and grey and is untitled. The watercol...
Category

1990s Central American Peter Voulkos

Materials

Paper

Peter Voulkos Furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Peter Voulkos Furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of ceramics and are designed with extraordinary care. In our Peter Voulkos collection, there are many options to choose from, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. In stock are 11 vintage editions of these items, while there is 0 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of Peter Voulkos' original furniture was created in the Mid-Century Modern style in the United States during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Ellsworth Kelly, Rose Cabat and Louise Nevelson. The prices for Peter Voulkos furniture may vary depending upon size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at US$800 and tops out at US$24,000, while pieces like these can sell for US$8,600 on average.