Lucie Rie is on view at Oxford Ceramics Gallery, Oxford
November 12, 2022 – January 7, 2023
Every new work is a new beginning. Indeed I shall never cease to be a pupil.Lucie Rie
Oxford Ceramics Gallery is proud to present Lucie Rie, our major winter exhibition celebrating the work and legacy of Lucie Rie (1902–1995), one of the most influential potters of the 20th century: a seminal figure whose unpretentious yet rigorous aesthetics and pioneering spirit continue to shape the landscape of modern studio pottery today.
A student of Josef Hoffmann, Lucie Rie trained as a potter in the avant-garde milieu of the Vienna Werkstätte. When she was forced to flee in 1938, she brought the unmistakable aesthetic of European modernism to the UK. Her work, unreservedly dedicated to functional forms, reveals her finely tuned throwing skills as well as a profound knowledge of the chemistry of clay and glazes. In the words of Sir David Attenborough, “Even with this restriction and discipline, she managed to produce a continuous series of new shapes, forms and surfaces. Yet everything she created was immediately recognisable as coming from her hands.”
Sourced from private collections, works featured will span the entirety of Lucie Rie’s extensive and prolific career, including a 1950s stoneware tea set, a vase with fluted body and a white bowl with bronze rim from the 1970s, as well as examples of some iconic late pieces, such as her distinctive volcanic stoneware bottles with flaring lip and spiral decoration.
Her work has been a constant presence in the Oxford Ceramics Gallery programme, as Director James Fordham comments:
“I have been lucky enough to see and handle a whole range of Lucie Rie’s works from the early sgraffito tableware to the flared, fluid bottle forms of her later career. My fascination has remained and deepened. It is hard to put into words what I so love and admire in her work. It might include the way that her sgraffito drawing opens the space inside and around bowls or how the drips of bronze manganese slide down the surface of a white glaze. Her mastery of glazes allows her to use beautiful, unexpected colour combinations which draw me into her world and (particularly with the yellow works) seem to reflect the whole history of refined but intimate ceramic objects.” James Fordham
Oxford Ceramics Gallery
29 Walton St
Oxford, OX2 6AA
Images of individual works © Michael Harvey. Installation views © Oxford Atelier. All images are courtesy of Oxford Ceramics Gallery.