Peter Voulkos
Tientos, 1959

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Artist name
Peter Voulkos
Date created
clay with iron glazes
55 in. × 19 in. × 30 in. (139.7 cm × 48.26 cm × 76.2 cm)
Date acquired
Collection SFMOMA
Purchase through a gift of Phyllis C. Wattis and gift of Gregory LaChapelle
© Estate of Peter Voulkos
Permanent URL
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Audio Stories

Voulkos discusses the dance that inspired this work

Show TranscriptHide Transcript



Artist Peter Voulkos. 



I was studying flamenco, flamenco guitar and, uh…Tientos is a ah, it’s a flamenco dance. It’s a rhythm, it’s a very specific kind of a rhythm. I had flamenco music going all the time when I was working. I’d work at night mostly and I’d always play flamenco. 

Tientos is a dance but its also a pile of clay. Take a look at it. If you say Tientos to somebody, they don’t know what you’re talking about. You explain to them it is a dance they can begin to see a figure in it dancing. Unless you knew that you’d just think it was a very abstract piece of clay. Which is all well and good because they can get their own interpretations out of that.  

Clay responds immediately you know. And it’s beautiful you know. You touch it and it moves. So you have to move with it. Just like playing flamenco guitar. 

Read MoreCollapse



Other Works by Peter Voulkos

See other works by Peter Voulkos

Please note that artwork locations are subject to change, and not all works are on view at all times. If you are planning a visit to SFMOMA to see a specific work of art, we suggest you contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to confirm it will be on view.

Only a portion of SFMOMA's collection is currently online, and the information presented here is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify collection holdings and artwork information. If you are interested in receiving a high resolution image of an artwork for educational, scholarly, or publication purposes, please contact us at copyright@sfmoma.org.

This resource is for educational use and its contents may not be reproduced without permission. Please review our Terms of Use for more information.