Eileen Gray Black and White Lacquered "Brick" Screen For Sale
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Eileen Gray Black and White Lacquered "Brick" Screen

About

Eileen Gray, born in Ireland in 1878, started her professional career as a lacquerist, primarily restoring furniture. She went on to create furniture of her own designs, but never achieved the mass acclaim of others of her time. She was "re-discovered " in a Domus essay of 1967. A retrospective of her works , named "Eileen Gray : Pioneer of Design" was launched in London in 1972. She then put most of her designs back into production in 1973, at the age of 95. She passed away the following year. Our screen is titled the "brick" screen for its solid stacked forms. The alternating black and white lacquered wooden forms are joined by brass rods, with decorative caps at the tops and bottoms. The front side features a raised centre to the panels, while the reverse sides are flat. The screen is in fine original condition, and displays very well. It will fold flat for storage or transport.

Details

  • Materials and Techniques
    LacqueredWood
  • Condition
    Good
  • Dimensions
    H 68 in. x W 62.50 in. x D 1 in.H 172.72 cm x W 158.75 cm x D 2.54 cm
  • Seller Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Reference Number
    LU812013192941
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About Eileen Gray (Designer)

Designer, artist and architect Eileen Gray was one of the most fascinating creative figures of the 20th century. Her body of work includes lustrous lacquered pieces — her Dragons chair set an auction record for modern furniture ($28 million) at the 2009 sale of the Yves Saint Laurent estate — and sleek chrome furnishings that rival the work of Le Corbusier and the members of the Bauhaus as exemplars of pure, modernist design.


The independent and unconventional daughter of Irish landed gentry, Gray studied painting at London’s Slade School of Fine Art in her early twenties before moving to Paris in 1906 to pursue her artistic dreams. Gray had become captivated by lacquerware after seeing an exhibit in the Victoria & Albert Museum, and in Paris persuaded an expatriate Japanese master of the painstaking process, Seizo Sugawara, to teach her. Within a few years, Gray had become known among the cognoscenti for her sculptural lacquered furnishings, which she incorporated into the homes of interior design clients.


She was ever evolving as a designer. By the early 1920s she was creating geometric works that embodied the essence of the nascent modernist design movement. Some pieces — such as her Bricks screen, an assemblage of pivoting rectangular panels — employ the planar forms favored by Gerrit Rietveld and other De Stijl architects of the Netherlands. Others feature the tubular chrome framing used by Marcel Breuer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. These include the Bibendum chair — named for the resemblance of its semicircular back and armrest to the character known in English as the Michelin Man — and the adjustable E 1027 side table, conceived in 1927 for the interiors of a stark white villa she designed for herself in the South of France.


Never a self-promoter, Gray drifted out of the limelight in the 1930s. Interest in her work was revived in the early ’70s, however, when the estates of her early clients came to auction. Her original lacquer pieces are the most coveted, but, as the sale of the Dragons chair shows, are rare and extremely expense. None of Gray’s designs were made in large numbers until, a few years before her death, she granted a production license. These pieces range in price from $1,000 to $2,500, depending on furniture type and condition. Gray’s work has become iconic of practical and elegant modernist design. Yet, as you will see on these pages, many of her creations have a simplicity that makes them welcome even in a traditional setting.


Introspective Editor's Pick on Eileen Gray

About the Seller

4.8 / 5
Vetted
1stdibs seller since 2005
Located in Los Angeles, CA
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