June 20, 2011

Serene Genius

It does not take a Ph.D. in art history to recognize that what the art establishment is foisting off on us as high art has veered to... So much is couched in such obsessively personal, even secretive, imagery that only a handful of so-called experts any longer pay it much attention. For quality and depth of expression I turn to artists the establishment overlooks almost entirely. Who, for example?

The late potter Lucie Rie, who learned her craft in Vienna and refined it in her adopted London after WW II. Early aesthetic influences were the Roman pots excavated on a family estate – and the clean, new shapes of Viennese architecture. These ideals still dominate. “What use can I make” she asked, “of the Della Robbias?”

Lucie Rie’s magnificent vessels are far more than mere pots. Shaped, glazed, and fired with supreme patience, they reflect the intelligence of an unpretentious, deeply humane mind. They are as pleasing to the touch and the spirits as they are to the eye. To hold one of these powerful vessels in one’s hands is to make contact with the whole universe.

Albion Mews, London, U.K.

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