Pictured: Peter Callas, Vase: 0134, 2016. Wood Fired Stoneware. 11.5 x 11 x 11 inches.

Exhibition On View:February 12–July 24, 2022
Member Preview:February 11, 2022, 2–4 PM
Artist Talk & Reception:February 12, 2022, 4–6 PM
Catalog:Peter Callas, An Enduring Legacy

Exhibition Overview

Regarded as one of the preeminent ceramic artists in the American Studio Ceramics tradition to work with anagama kilns, Peter Callas (1951– ) influenced an entire generation of ceramic artists. Opening February 12, 2022 at the American Museum of Ceramic Art, Peter Callas: An Enduring Legacy is a comprehensive career retrospective featuring works spanning nearly 30 years of creative production. Among the 50 works featured are Callas’s innovative expressionist sculptures and abstracted container forms that function as visual records of the transformative forces of fire. Other works on display include intimate tea bowls, selected works on paper, and the premier of an original film about the artist.

Peter Callas: An Enduring Legacy is curated by Jo Lauria, Adjunct Curator.

This exhibition is generously funded, in part, by the Windgate Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Julianne and David Armstrong, and The Los Angeles County Department of Arts & Culture.

LA County Arts and Culture

From the Curator

Peter Callas is internationally recognized for his mastery of the anagama kiln wood-firing technique. Callas’s career has focused on perfecting vertical torqued sculptural forms and abstracted container shapes that function as visual records of the transformative forces of fire. His expressive ceramics showcase the compelling results of heat, flame, and fly ash deposits on their surfaces. The artist is a skilled strategist who creates captivating imagery through intuitive control and mastery of his medium on forms as varied as intimate tea bowls, stately coiled vases, and large-scale imposing sculptures.

About the Artist

Early in his career, Callas traveled to Japan, where he was introduced to the aesthetic philosophies and wood-fired glazing techniques that motivated his future work. Inspired to construct his own anagama kiln in 1975—the first used in North America—Callas later set up a studio in New Jersey, where he continued to experiment with tunnel kilns. In his own words, kilns became Callas’s “engines for creative innovation” and allowed him to embrace rustic effects like scorch marks or asymmetrical firing. His innovations in wood-fired ceramics inspired countless others, including acclaimed ceramic artist Peter Voulkos, who became a longtime collaborator.

The recipient of grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Windgate Foundation, Callas has exhibited extensively, including at the Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art (Japan), the Powerhouse Museum (Australia), and the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art. His works are held in many museum collections nationally as well as in Asia, Europe, Australia, and South America. This comprehensive retrospective  is Callas’s first solo exhibition at the American Museum of Ceramic Art.

Learn more at PeterCallas.com or follow him on Instagram.

About the Curator

Jo Lauria is one of Southern California’s foremost curators of ceramic arts. A former curator of decorative arts at LACMA where she organized the seminal exhibition Color and Fire: Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics, 1950-2000, Lauria’s past curatorial projects at AMOCA include Common Ground: Ceramics in Southern California (1945–1975), Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future: AMOCA’s 10th Anniversary, Discovering Saar Ceramics, Silver Splendor: The Art of Anna Silver, and MIND+MATTER: Five Bay Area Artists.

Learn more at JoLauria.com or follow her on Instagram.

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