Moontang Kilns Plate (round)
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Billy Al Bengston

Moontang Kilns Plate (round)

It takes a strong personality to fend off art historians and the marketplace for sixty years, maintaining an unpredictable and authentic individualism all the while. Billy Al Bengston is just such a personality. Forged in the white-heat of Los Angeles’s emergent 1950s art scene, he showed early on at the legendary Ferus Gallery, where he developed lifetime friendships with figures such as Ken Price and Ed Ruscha. Like those artists, Bengston could never be quite contained within any one movement or style, such as Hard-Edge abstraction and Light & Space, though he had affinities to these and other tendencies. The ceramics shown here have their origins in the late 1970s, when Bengston and Price discovered the potters of Tonala, in Mexico. As Bengston explains, “[we] were so taken by the style we ordered 1,000 bisqued plates, plus or minus, and had them shipped to us in Venice [California]. Half went to Ken Price, the other to me. Ken, being totally versed in ceramics, finished his and expanded it to Happy’s Curios, the museum exhibition. My first start on the plates sucked so in 2002 I established Moontang Kilns and started again.” This time, they didn’t suck. 

This work is no longer available for sale. Please be in touch with Object & Thing for further information.

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Billy Al Bengston
Contributing Gallery
Various Small Fires
10.75 diameter x 1 in
variousbab02-ind01 d
Image credit: Courtesy of the artist and Various Small Fires, Los Angeles/Seoul
Moontang Kilns Plate (round)
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Moontang Kilns Plate (round)