Little Big Horn
On View at the Getty Center: Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970
Peter Voulkos was instrumental in the transformation of ceramics from a traditional craft to a sculptural art form. One way he did this was to dramatically increase the size of his ceramic objects. To work on an enormous scale, Voulkos borrowed structural methods from architecture and devised a way to balance and cantilever large slabs of clay around a cylindrical core. By 1959, he was creating complex monumental pieces like Little Big Horn, which was formed from a series of faceted planes that appear disjointed rather than whole. Voulkos magnified this fragmented effect by applying blue, white, and gray glazes to the work’s individual planes.