Lucie Rie - Design & Design Art New York Thursday, December 13, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Collection of the artist

  • Catalogue Essay

    In September 1938 Lucie Rie “arrived in London bringing with her a small collection of her Viennese Pots in a suitcase, many of which cracked in transit”  Frankel, Modern Pots - Hans Coper, Lucie Rie & their Contemporaries, London, 2000 p. 70.    This and the following lot are two of those prized possessions brought with her from Vienna.  The damage originates from this journey and the pots appear here in an un-restored state.  Prior to her arrival in the UK and since graduating from the Kunstgewerbeschule in 1926, Lucie Rie had enjoyed an increasing international recognition for her unashamedly modern ceramics.  These austere pieces were influenced by the materiality of the Modernist architecture and design that was emerging in central Europe at that time and rejected the decorative style of her tutor Michael Powolny.  She received the Gold Medal at the Brussels exhibition in 1935 and another Gold Medal at the Milan Trienale in 1936.  In 1937, Josef Hoffman had built a glass-walled corridor at the Austrian Pavilion at the Paris International Exhibition to display 70 of Lucie’s pots.

  • Artist Biography

    Lucie Rie

    Austrian • 1902 - 1995

    Dame Lucie Rie studied under Michael Powolny at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna before immigrating to London in 1938. In London she started out making buttons for the fashion industry before producing austere, sparsely decorated tableware that caught the attention of modernist interior decorators. Eventually she hit her stride with the pitch-perfect footed bowls and flared vases for which she is best-known today. She worked in porcelain and stoneware, applying glaze directly to the unfired body and firing only once. She limited decoration to incised lines, subtle spirals and golden manganese lips, allowing the beauty of her thin-walled vessels to shine through. In contrast with the rustic pots of English ceramicist Bernard Leach, who is considered an heir to the Arts and Crafts movement, collectors and scholars revere Rie for creating pottery that was in dialogue with the design and architecture of European Modernism.

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Early pot

ca. 1934
Earthenware, crackled cream glaze with multi-colored speckle.
4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm) diameter
Painted “L.R.G. Wien.”

$3,000 - 4,000 

Sold for $3,500

Design & Design Art

13 Dec 2007, 2pm
New York