Lucie Rie (British (born Austria), Vienna 1902–1995 London)
3 5/8 x 7 1/8 in. (9.2 x 18.1cm)
Anonymous Gift, 1993
Not on view
The potters Hans Coper and Dame Lucie Rie were long-standing friends whose lives and careers were closely intertwined. Both fled their native countries as refugees from Nazism; Rie went to England in 1938, and Coper in 1939. After the war Rie began to produce domestic wares for shops. She soon realized that there was greater demand for her more individual work. Coper, after having been interned in Canada as an enemy alien during the war, decided to become a sculptor. To make ends meet, he began working at Rie's London studio in 1946. Influenced by his older friend, he quickly came to think of himself as a potter.
Tight control characterizes Rie's oeuvre; its appeal lies in the refined elegance of her shapes, the subtlety of her surface decorations, and the varied richness of her glazes. Coper's work, on the other hand, is strong and monumental; though completely sculptural, his ceramics invariably remain vessels. His abstract Cycladic Form evokes an image from antiquity; it is tiny but has a bold and forceful presence.The subtly complex shape of his Thistle Form contrasts with its rough yet delicately nuanced surface texture.
Marking: Marked (bottom): LR (in a rectangle)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Lucie Rie/Hans Coper: Masterworks by Two British Potters," November 15, 1994–May 21, 1995, no. R24.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Significant Objects," November 26, 2002–May 2, 2004, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Curator's Eye: J. Stewart Johnson, 1990–2004," March 1–November 6, 2005, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Modern Design: Selections from the Collection," May 30–October 5, 2008, no catalogue.