Villa E 1027, Eileen Gray et Jean Badovici, vue du salon Centre Pompidou, Bibliothèque Kandinsky. Photo Alan Irvine.
Furniture, photographs, scale models and documents by Eileen Gray (1878-1976) are featured in a retrospective by the Irish designer at the Centre Pompidou in Paris until May 20. The exhibition pays tribute to a designer of genius, whose work traverses the Art Deco period and the Modern Movement. Along with Le Corbusier and Mies Van Der Rohe, Eileen Gray ranks among the architects and designers who have left a significant mark on the 20th century and defined modernity. One of the leading figures in French decorative arts in the 1910′s and 1920′s Gray continues to inspire artists to this day in fields ranging from photography to textiles, from lacquer painting to architecture.
She never developed industrial production. Each of her pieces is unique and rare. Gray’s masterpiece – a manifesto of modernity – remains the house E1027, built in Roquebrune, Cap-Martin in 1929, in close collaboration with Romanian architect Jean Badovici.
Centre Pompidou say the exhibition highlights the career and the work of an artist who managed to associate tremendous technical virtuosity with an inimitable poetic force, excelling particularly in lacquer and textiles, but also in a new conception of space and of the relationship to furniture and objects.
The catalogue and album (bilingual) is published by Éditions du Centre Pompidou under the direction of curator Cloé Pitiot. Taking place against the background of Ireland’s Presidency of the European Union Culture Ireland, the Centre Culturel Irlandais and the Embassy of Ireland in Paris are delighted to be associated with this retrospective. (Click on any image to enlarge it).
Fauteuil Sirène, circa 1919 Bois laqué, velours Acheté par la chanteuse Damia à la galerie Jean Désert en 1923. Anthony DeLorenzo © photo : Anthony DeLorenzo
Dining room chair, 1926-1929 Nickel-plated steel, brown leather Furniture from the villa E 1027 Donation from the Société des amis du Musée national d’art moderne, 2011 Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris © DR
Fauteuil Bibendum, circa 1930 Métal chromé, toile Mobilier provenant de la collection de Mme Tachard Collection privée © photo : Monsieur Christian Baraja, Studio SLB