Peter Voulkos was born in 1924 in Bozeman, Montana of Greek ancestry. He received an MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in 1952, completing a graduate thesis on the functional lidded jar.
Like other potters at the time, he worked exclusively with the vessel form and concentrated on traditional skills of throwing and decorating pottery in keeping with the Asian and Scandinavian aesthetics that were prevalent at the time.
Abstract Expressionist Pottery
In 1953, Voulkos spent time at Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina, where he was exposed to abstract expressionism and new trends in American art.
In 1967, Voulkos met the abstract expressionist painter and potter Lucio Fontana, who tore, punched, and intentionally damaged both his canvasses and pottery as part of his creative process. Voulkos was inspired and began to explore what later became his signature technique: transformation of the functional pot into the sculptural, expressive pot.
Voulkos died in 2002 in Bowling Green, Ohio.Contact a Specialist View all Artists/Makers