Museum no. CIRC.1226-1967
In the twentieth century, industrial designers usurped artists' historical monopoly on physical beauty. As a result, art became detached from life and wearisomely abstruse. The craft object evolved as a compromise: more personal and soulful than manufactured goods, more accessible than conceptual art. Of all potters Lucie Rie concentrated most emphatically on aesthetic purity. Unafraid to use industrial materials ('the pink comes from the chemist') she was nonetheless influenced by traditional Chinese and Persian ceramics. Few objects or images made in 1979 have the same absolute, meditative purity as this bottle.
Stephen Bayley, Guest Curator