Explore the Era

Delve into the postwar Los Angeles art world in this online archive, which provides additional material related to the exhibitions on view at the Getty Center. Learn about hipsters and happenings, and the venues across the city where all the action took place through images from the archives and first-hand accounts with the artists.


Untitled, Takemodo

Untitled, 1959, Henry Takemoto. Stoneware with iron and cobalt brushwork. 26 3/4 x 27 3/4 in. Collection of Pier Voulkos. © Henry Takemoto. Photo by Joe Schopplein

Henry Takemoto was born in Honolulu and studied at the University of Hawaii with Claude Horan and Josef Albers. After moving to Southern California in the early 1950s, he studied with Peter Voulkos at the Otis Art Institute. Like his fellow student John Mason, Takemoto developed a new type of ceramic practice influenced by abstract expressionism, and created non-utilitarian large-scale pieces. Takemoto’s works are characterized by their intricate surfaces of gestural, calligraphic markings. Although they often retain aspects of traditional ceramic practice—such as their coil construction, their nominal resemblance to vessels, and their classic blue-and-white coloring—Takemoto extends these methods beyond their conventional limits to create highly expressive forms.

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  • Henry Takemoto and Peter Voulkos

    Henry Takemoto and Peter Voulkos in front of Takemoto's mural at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, 1959. Image courtesy of Henry Takemoto

  • Henry Takemoto, ca. 1959

    Henry Takemoto with one of his coiled glazed stoneware pots at the studio of John Mason and Peter Voulkos, Los Angeles, ca. 1959. Image courtesy of Henry Takemoto

  • Henry Takemoto

    Henry Takemoto working on his glazed tile mural at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, 1959. Photo by John Mason. Image courtesy of Henry Takemoto