Eileen Gray: Her Work and Her World
Irish Academic Press, 2015
Eileen Gray – the renowned and highly influential architect, furniture-maker, interior designer, and photographer – was born in Ireland and remained, throughout her life, an Irishwoman at heart. An elusive figure, Gray’s interior world has never before been observed as closely as in this ground-breaking study of her work, philosophy, and inner circle of fellow artists. The book expertly blends art history and biography to create a stunning ensemble, offering a clear beacon of light into truly understanding Eileen Gray – the woman and the professional. Gray was a self-taught polymath and her work was multi-functional, user-friendly, and ready for mass production, yet succinctly unique. As one of the most influential designers of the 20th century, her designs reveal great technical virtuosity. Her expertise in lacquer work and carpet design, often overlooked, are given due attention here, as is her fascinating relationship with the architect Le Corbusier and many other compelling and complex relationships. The book also offers rare insights into Gray’s early years as an artist. The primary source material for this book is drawn from the Eileen Gray collection at the National Museum of Ireland and its wealth of documentation, correspondence, personal archives, photographs, and oral history.
The book is an essential tie-in with the motion picture ‘The Price of Desire’ by Mary McGuckian, as well as the documentary film ‘Gray Matters’ by Marco Orsini. The author provides a rich collage of Gray’s personal relationships with Le Corbusier, Jean Badovici, and Stephen Haweiss, giving insight into influences on her work.