VOULKOS in LA and followed by Saxe…

Frank Lloyd took over Garth Clark’s gallery in Los Angeles when Clark and Del Vecchio moved to New York. Lloyd stayed in West LA for a while but then moved the gallery to Bergamot Station, close to Santa Monica – an old industrial site then under conversion to an art centre.  Bergamot Station still thrives with its 30+ galleries of every persuasion and a large public space exhibition centre.  You need a day to cover all. Fortunately there is a decent café also on site for that necessary break.

Recently over the past six months or so, across Southern California, has been a series of exhibitions organized by the Getty Centre about the Los Angeles flowering of art that took place in the mid-late 50s and 60s and which established LA, for the first time, as a centre of art with national significance for the USA. Called Pacific Standard Time, the project was installed in some 50+ galleries across the lower part of the State. Ceramics and what took place under Voulkos’ teaching at Otis was no small part of that ceramics was featured in four or five galleries exhibitions. The public space at Bergamot showed a large scale exhibition of Beatrice Wood’s ceramics including large scale chalices in her famous silvery-gold lustre and the wonderful sculptural work entitled, “Young Men and Chocolate”.

Frank Lloyd Gallery has shown an exhibition of work from the period mid-late 50s when Voulkos adopted a painterly approach to ceramics which further liberated it from utilitarian constraints. Along with Voulkos’ work, which made up most of the show, were pieces from some students of the time including Ken Price and John Mason – all very different from what each eventually became known for.

Frank Lloyd has a blog (franklloydgallery.wordpress.com) and a scroll down a short way you’ll find a four minute video that shows some of these early works in full-tech-surround.

Scroll down further and there you will find an on-line catalogue of a retrospective of the work of Adrian Saxe – who was a schoolboy when Voulkos and Co were at their most active but who has benefitted from what they pioneered. Saxe is about the ultimate ceramic post-modernist. He sticks with the vessel form and mines ceramic histories for devices, addenda and tropes found in and on ceramics from a multiplicity of cultures and periods. His beautiful and inventive assemblages of works with their myriad quotations and with his wicked sense of humor threaded through makes this a feast for the eyes (and for the brain trying to place all those references!).

The gallery can be found at, WWW.franklloyd.com and the gallery site is well worth an occasional exploration. It carries painting and sculpture as well as a principal concentration upon ceramics.

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