Voulkos at the Nasher
Among the most gratifying moments of owning a gallery are the times when our artists’ work is placed in great museums. Especially when the piece was acquired from an important exhibit at the gallery, and preserved in a carefully selected collection—before being promised to a major museum. This is the best of all possible paths: preservation of the legacy of the artist.
I’ve written before about Peter Voulkos in museums. This week, at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, his work will be exhibited in the company of the 20th century’s greatest: Pablo Picasso, Willem DeKooning, and Alberto Giacometti, among many others. Those who have questioned the placement of Voulkos in the history of sculpture must take note, as this is yet another example of the recognition and power of Voulkos by a major collection. Fortunately for future generations, the work, Alhambra, is a promised gift from one of the gallery’s best collectors, and was enthusiastically accepted by the Director of the Nasher.
Titled Return to Earth: Ceramic Sculpture of Fontana, Melotti, Miró, Noguchi, and Picasso, 1943-1963, the exhibit is described on the Nasher website as “the first exhibition to explore the phenomenal increase in interest ceramics received from artists of the avant-garde during this period.”1 It promises to be an expansive look into how these artists, who were not primarily known for their work in ceramics, paved the way for future generations of ceramic sculptors. Within the exhibition, Voulkos’s powerful ceramic piece is rightly positioned as a “radical [example] of the expressive potential of fired clay.”2
Return to Earth opens at the Nasher Sculpture Center on Saturday, September 21st, 2013, and will remain on view through January 14th, 2014.
1 Return to Earth: Ceramic Sculpture of Fontana, Melotti, Miró, Noguchi, and Picasso, 1943-1963, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, 2013, http://www.nashersculpturecenter.org/Exhibitions/Return-to-Earth