28 Jan Eileen Gray
Designer and Architect
Eileen Gray is today one of the most celebrated designers and architects. But that was not always the case. Throughout her career, she struggled for acceptance as a woman in male-dominated professions. In Paris, she opened a gallery under the name Jean Désert that sold furniture and rugs. The gallery also served as an exhibition space for modern art, making Gray, albeit working under a male pseudonym, one of the first women gallerists.
She is best known, however, for her furniture, lighting, rugs, architecture, and especially for her signature Japanese lacquer technique, which she learned from Seizo Sugawara.
Accompanying the exhibition at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery, organized by the Centre Pompidou, this richly illustrated catalog focuses on the diversity of Gray’s design practices and explores the range of her architectural projects. It is divided into three sections: “Beginnings”, which focuses on Gray’s early life and education; “Being a Designer”, which explores her career as a designer of furniture, rugs, and interiors; and “Being an Architect”, which answers the prevailing question of whether Eileen Gray was an architect with a resounding yes.