English (born in Austria), 1902–1995
11.8 x 15.9 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from an anonymous donor
A recognized leader in British studio pottery of the twentieth century, Dame Lucie Rie synthesized the traditional vessel format with the clean profile of the modernist aesthetic. Born in Austria, she trained in Vienna from 1922 to 1926 before immigrating to London in 1938. For a brief period she was influenced by the ideas and teachings of ceramist Bernard Leach, the father of the studio pottery movement in Britain. Leach brought together Asian aesthetics and philosophies with a concentration on functional wares. However, Rie forged ahead in her own direction, exploring a personal aesthetic that moved stylistically towards Scandinavian modernism. The WAG’s porcelain bowl, with its pitted surface and understated elegance, is Rie at her finest. The profile is simple, the surface is unadorned beyond the beautiful yellow glaze, and the proportions are perfectly balanced.