ISBN: 9781848221833 • Publication: October 28, 2015
‘an intimate portrait of the woman behind the designer’ Antiques Trade Gazette
The Private Painter
Peter Adam and Andrew Lambirth
DescriptionIrish-born designer Eileen Gray (1878-1976) is widely known today as a pioneer of both Art Deco and Modernism. In a career spanning nearly 80 years she produced innovative designs for furniture, lighting, carpets, interiors and architecture. Much less well known is that throughout her life as a designer and an architect she never stopped producing small paintings and drawings. This book is the first to focus on Eileen Gray's important but essentially private work as a painter.
Eileen Gray considered herself a designer and an architect, not a painter: she viewed her work as a painter with great modesty, treating it as a private occupation and a vehicle for artistic expression during periods when she could not design furniture. Much of her artwork has disappeared, either lost in the Second World War or destroyed by the artist herself. But a body of works on paper, produced between the 1920s and the 1950s, has survived: elegant, geometric drawings and gouaches of muted tonality and subtle power.
This book, which reproduces unseen material from the Eileen Gray archive and draws on Gray's correspondence with her niece Prunella Clough on the nature of painting, will be a revelation to her many followers and admirers.