Lucie Rie: A Retrospective
National Art Center Tokyo
28 April – 21 June, 2010
Lucie Rie (1902–1995), one of the twentieth century’s greatest studio potters, devoted her life to creating ceramic works of art that brim with a fresh sense of surprise and discovery.
Born into a wealthy Jewish family in Vienna, Lucie fell under the spell of the potter’s wheel while studying at the Kunstgewerbeschule, the art school attached to the Wiener Werkstätte. Before long her work was earning praise and winning awards at international exhibitions. In 1938, however, with war approaching, she was forced to flee to London, where she continued to work in ceramics for nearly half a century.
The studio ceramics scene in England at the time, shaped by early British potters such as Bernard Leach and William Staite-Murray, had little in common with the world Lucie had known on the Continent. It was in that world that Lucie Rie established her own style that resonated with trends at the leading edge of architecture and design at the time. Color and decoration were brought together in the forms she created on her wheel. Her work, serene yet with a strong presence, vividly conveys the sense of discovery and joy that she found in her creative endeavors.
This exhibition traces the creative path of Lucie Rie, one of the twentieth century’s greatest studio potters, presenting a superb collection of approximately 250 pieces from Japan and abroad. As the first full-scale posthumous retrospective of her work, this exhibition also includes a wealth of related materials, including handwritten notes and letters as well as photographs, contributed by scholarly institutions in Britain.