Design thumbnail 1
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Design

early 1920s (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Influenced by the Art Deco style, Japanese art and design, and 1920s functionalism, Eileen Gray (1878 – 1976) is one of the most intriguing designers of the 20th century. Largely unrecognised in her own lifetime, today she is considered a pioneer of the Modernist movement, known for her remarkably bold furniture designs and architecture.

Irish born Gray moved to Paris in 1902 where she spent most of her life as a designer. It was there that she established her reputation as a successful practitioner of lacquer work, having studied and worked with Japanese lacquer master and sculptor Seizo Sugawara (1884 – 1937) with whom she opened a studio in 1910. This design for a six-panel lacquer screen with incised linear decoration is similar, but not identical, to one that Gray displayed at her gallery, Galerie Jean Désert, about 1923.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pencil, chalk, India ink and Chinese white
Brief Description
Design for a lacquer screen with incised linear and geometric decoration, pencil, chalk, India ink and Chinese white, Eileen Gray, France, early 1920s
Physical Description
Design for a lacquer screen in pencil, chalk, India ink and Chinese white. The design depicts lines and abstract shapes incised on a black background.
Dimensions
  • From catalogue height: 24.9cm
  • From catalogue width: 30.2cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • (Inscribed in pencil with an illegible inscription)
  • (Inscribed on reverse in another hand)
Object history
The design is similar, but not identical, to a lacquer screen that was bought from Eileen Gray by Mme Jean-Henri Labourdette. Along with Mme Mathieu Lévy, Mme Labourdette was one of Gray's key clients in the 1920s.
Summary
Influenced by the Art Deco style, Japanese art and design, and 1920s functionalism, Eileen Gray (1878 – 1976) is one of the most intriguing designers of the 20th century. Largely unrecognised in her own lifetime, today she is considered a pioneer of the Modernist movement, known for her remarkably bold furniture designs and architecture.



Irish born Gray moved to Paris in 1902 where she spent most of her life as a designer. It was there that she established her reputation as a successful practitioner of lacquer work, having studied and worked with Japanese lacquer master and sculptor Seizo Sugawara (1884 – 1937) with whom she opened a studio in 1910. This design for a six-panel lacquer screen with incised linear decoration is similar, but not identical, to one that Gray displayed at her gallery, Galerie Jean Désert, about 1923.
Bibliographic Reference
Dieter Roelstraete, ed. All That Is Solid. Five Reflections on Materialist Spirituality in Contemporary Art Mechelen: MuHKA, 2009. ISBN: 978-90-209-8318-0.
Collection
Accession Number
E.533-1980

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record createdSeptember 8, 2008
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