From February 20th to May 20th 2013, the Centre Pompidou devotes a retrospective to the unique work of Irish designer Eileen Gray. Featuring a selection of works, pieces of furniture, photographs, scale models and documents brought together for the first time, this exhibition pays tribute to a designer of genius, whose work traverses the Art Deco period and the Modern Movement.
Along with Le Corbusier or 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.
In an artistic world still largely dominated by men, Eileen Gray also embodies a new kind
of femininity. A total designer, she continues to inspire a whole generation of artists to this day, in fields ranging from photography to textiles, from lacquer painting to architecture.
“The future projects light, the past only clouds”: it is with such firm determination that Eileen Gray fully engages herself in the modern impulse. A painter by training, an autodidact in many other areas, Eileen Gray, free above all else and evolving far from the conventional, continues to design projects her entire life and leaves behind her more than seventy years of creation. Never having developed an industrial production, each of her pieces is thus unique and therefore all the more rare. Her masterpiece, a manifesto of modernity, remains the house E1027, built in Roquebrune- Cap-Martin in 1929, in close collaboration with Romanian architect Jean Badovici.
The exhibition at the Centre Pompidou 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.