Presentation of Works by Dame Lucie Rie at Le Musee National de Ceramique de Sevres France & Book Launch

The first ever museum presentation of works by the renowned potter Dame Lucie Rie in France will open to the public at the prestigious Musée National de Céramique de Sèvres in Paris from 25 March – 7 April 2008 (pls see viewing times below).

The Dame Lucie Rie Exhibition includes approximately 30 works representing the spectrum of her repertoire early pieces dating from the early 1950’s to her last firing in 1990.

lucie-rie.jpgA large proportion of the works on view will be offered for sale in future sales of Contemporary Ceramics at Bonhams, with the next auction taking place on Wednesday 16 April. A large group of works are also kindly on loan for the event from Galerie Besson, London.

The event has been organised alongside the launch of the French language publication of the fascinating biography ‘Lucie Rie’ by Tony Birks, published by La Revue de la Céramique et du Verre. The book provides a complete account of the life and works of this extraordinary artist and beautiful illustrations feature throughout.

Marijke Jones, Head of Contemporary Ceramics at Bonhams says, “It is a real pleasure to be involved in organising such an important event. Dame Lucie Rie is considered to be one of the most renowned potters of the post-war period, and it seems highly appropriate that this inaugural presentation of her work should take place in such a distinguished setting. I hope it will offer many people an opportunity to see the wide range of works she created throughout her career.”

Dame Lucie Rie (1902-1995) was one of the most important potters of the post-war period and is among the most highly skilled and admired in the field. Rie developed a highly individual style based on the aesthetics of the ‘Modernist’ movement combined with ambiguous references from nature. Using the traditional methods of wheel-throwing, her vessels were decorated with rich and vivid glazes, often used in conjunction with sets of parallel banded lines of inlay or sgraffito. Rie’s work offered an alternative and distinctly Urban aesthetic to Bernard Leach’s Japanese inspired ceramic tradition. Her standard of excellence moved ceramics from the realm of craft to fine art.

Lucie Rie (1902 -1995) was born in Austria and set up her first studio in Vienna in1925. Rie held her first International Exhibition that year, in Paris. In 1937 she won a silver medal at the Paris International Exhibition.

In 1938 she fled the Nazis and emigrated to England, where she settled in London. Around this time she separated from Hans Rie, a businessman whom she had married in Vienna.

hans-coper.jpgDuring and after the war, to make ends meet, she made ceramic buttons and jewellery, some of which can be seen displayed at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. In 1946 she hired Hans Coper, a young man with no experience in ceramics, to help her fire the buttons. Although Coper was interested in learning sculpture, she sent him to a potter named Heber Matthews, who quickly taught him how to make pots on the wheel. Rie and Coper exhibited together only two years later, in 1948. He quickly became a partner in her studio, where he worked until 1958. Their friendship lasted until he died in 1981.

Also on exhibition will be a small group of works by Hans Coper.

Highlights include :
Lucie Rie – a small pale blue footed Bowl, circa 1952
Lucie Rie – A set of six cups and saucers, circa 1957
Lucie Rie – A rounded vase with oval lip and white pitted glaze, circa 1958
Lucie Rie – A porcelain footed bowl with pink inlay, circa 1975
Lucie Rie – A large Goitre vase, heavily pitted blue-grey & white glazes, circa 1981

Opening Times:
Open every day except Tuesdays and bank holidays from 10am – 5pm

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