Tuesday, December 1, 2009

eileen gray

eileen gray is superb.
above and below is her e-1027 house.
and there are also some images of her interior and furniture designs.
ouno design has the most comprehensive posts on this house.
and this golden smith post on the Le Corbusier obsession with it is really great.
edit: and mary's post on
Le Corbusier's cabanon (situated just above e-1027) is really interesting.

i first started this post a while ago after seeing a wonderful documentary on her.
i was really interested to see her lacquer work, using japanese techniques
and working with a japanese artist called sugiwara:

"Allured by the antique Chinese and Japanese lacquer screens in the shop, Eileen asked if she could learn the rudiments of lacquer working. By the time she returned to Paris in 1906, she was obsessed by the art of lacquer and, thanks to Mr Charles’ contacts, had an introduction to a young lacquer craftsman, Sugiwara. He came from Jahoji, a village in northern Japan famous for its lacquer work and agreed to teach her. In 1907, Gray found a spacious first floor apartment at 21 rue Bonaparte where she could live and work and persuaded her mother to increase her allowance so that she could afford the rent. Three years later, Gray bought the apartment outright and thereafter it became her main home. Gray studied with Sugiwara for four years. Lacquer work was not only painstaking, but perilous. Like many people who come into close contact with it, she contracted a painful ‘lacquer disease’ on her hands. Slowly she refined her technique to create stark forms with simple geometric decorations. This simplicity was, however, as much a product of the complexity of the process as of Gray's aesthetic preferences. "

text source: design museum

sugiwara desu.

eileen gray's lacquered screens


  1. those screens are gorgeous. i also loved the golden smith post. great architecture!

  2. I love Eileen Gray's work... great post :) K

  3. i'm in the middle of reading a book about eileen grey after visiting le corbusier's 'cabanon' a few months ago. i'm also dipping in and out of a huge bio of Le corbusier. he was a bit of a 'so & so'! i can see why his and eileen grey's characters ultimately clashed.

    if you're interested, i've done a couple of posts of the cabanon which is situated just above E 1027 at Rouquebrune Cap Martin.

    Sorry they're not linked properly. You'll have to cut and paste..



  4. i love eileen gray! i saw a video about her in one of my very first classes at college and i remember being really impressed and attracted to her work and her philosophy. now it's coming back to me! thank you for this wonderful post!

  5. hi there - thanks, it is so nice to hear form everyone. the screens are amazing, next post will be one on some writing in the magic of lacquer:)

    which book mary? it sounds great! and yes! i knew i forgot to add a link - it was yours. i will update now, thank you!

  6. it's a phaidon book - 'Eileen Gray' by Caroline Constant
    it's full of beautiful images as well as being very readable.
    thanks for the link :)

  7. wonderful post on a magnificent and amazing woman!

  8. How lovely to be able to see Eileen Gray's house. The photos are beautiful and of invaluable interest today. Archives, archives, archives...

  9. thank you so much mary for the information on the book, i am going to have to search that one down for sure. she is, so magnificent! and wow, i am a little star struck to receive a comment from you ivan - i really love your blog and incredible work for world of interiors (with thanks to david's wonderful post). archives are treasures, and it is so great eileen gray is getting more time in the sun nowadays?