Lucie Rie and Hans Coper in Rotterdam
There is a permanent exhibition of two great potters in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. It is a nice museum full of great works. I was impressed by work of famous potter Bernard Leach, which I went to see three times, despite that there were only three of his on display. His pots were a magnet for me, I was hypnotized. I also decided that I like Dutch fine art from 17. century. I also enjoyed a short movie about a story of a lost and doubtful painting of Jan Van Eyck. But the main reason I went to Rotterdam was Lucie Rie.
She was one of top English potters in 20. century. She was from Vienna, but escaped to London in time of war. Her father was a doctor an played chess with Sigmund Freud. Lucie completed art school in Vienna and opened her pottery in renovated horse stables in Hyde park, London. Hans Coper also fled from Germany to London and in 1946 Lucie hired him as help. It soon became that she was his student. They had very different style. I started to like Coper’s work since this museum visit. I usually dislike abstract work and sculptures, but I find his work very convincing.
Lucie’s work is truly amazing. She mainly made kitchenware in a sophisticated oriental style. Thin walls, subtle glazes and very earthy colors. She was also Leach’s friend, although he did’t say many nice things about her work. Despite that, she kept her really recognizable style, and made pots until her 90’s. David Attenborough was also one of her admirers. Most of her work is now on display in Victoria and Albert museum in London, where her whole atelier was being moved, but Rotterdam also has some of her brilliant pieces.