Product Description

7132               Felice Rix-Ueno (1893-1967)

A two-fold paper screen painted in colour on a gold and silver ground with numerous exotic birds in a stylised tree covered landscape. A flock of flying egrets can be seen in front of a blue rectangular-shaped cloud.

Signed: L.Ueno Rix

Japan, 20th century, Shōwa period

Dimensions: H. 153 cm. x W. 143 cm. (60¼ x 56½ in.)

Felice ‘Lizzi’ Rix-Ueno (1893-1967)

Born in Vienna she studied at the University of Applied Arts Vienna under Josef Hoffmann (1870-1956) a leading figure of the Viennese Secession. Initially she worked at the artists’ production community of Wiener Werkstatte (Vienna’s Workshops) as a textile and wallpaper designer.

In 1926 she moved to Japan and settled in Kyoto where she continued her career. Along with her husband Isaburo Ueno (1892-1972) they helped to modernize Japanese design. She was in charge of interiors, product design, textiles and wallpapers at Isaburo Ueno’s architectural office.

In 1946 she began lecturing at Kyoto City University of Arts and in 1960 she was honoured with the position of professor of Design. Lizzi sensei (teacher), as her Japanese students used to call her, applied a groundbreaking teaching method influenced by the Bohemian reformer of art education Franz Cizek (1865-1946). The students attending her Colour and Composition class had to work with their chosen material using form and colour as the main vessel of expression. She believed that the basis of a good design derived from the development of the creator’s fantasy and imagination followed by the purposefulness of the work. This view had a profound influence in the development of design education in Kyoto.

Ueno is also famous for her numerous cloisonné enamel wares which enhanced her use of vivid colour and detailed lines. She also created a wide range of ceiling and wall painting decorations for important buildings as the dining hall in the Kyoto Station Hotel, the visitors’ room of the Kyoto City Municipal Office and her most celebrated wall painting work for the Actress restaurant of Nissei Theatre at Hibiya Tokyo completed in 1963.

Work by this artist can be found in the collections of: Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; MAK Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna