Eileen Gray was born in Ireland in 1878, studied at the Slade School of Art in London and then moved to Paris. After her work was exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs in 1913, she started earning commissions for her interior design work, and in 1922, she opened her own shop, called Jean Désert. In mid-career, Gray became an architect and designed a home in Roquebrune, France with fellow-architect and partner Jean Badovici. Gray also designed the furniture for this house, which they named E.1027 to reflect the collaborative nature of the project. E.1027 is a cipher for the architects’ intertwined initials: The E is for Eileen and the numbers 10, 2 and 7 represent the alphabetical order of the letters J, B and G, respectively. In photographs of the house, the Adjustable Table E1027 (1927) is shown being used next to a bed, but it is also wonderfully suited for use next to a sofa or chair. This table is included in the permanent collection of MoMA in New York. The production of this table is authorized by the World License Holder, Aram Designs Ltd. Made in Italy.
Elegant, intelligent and independent. Eileen Gray's nonconformist and brilliant mind led her to a uniquely creative life at the turn of the century in Paris. Born to an aristocratic family in Ireland, she first studied at the Slade School for Fine Arts in London and then settled in Paris in 1907 where she began a career that spanned seven decades. In Paris, she studied drawing, painting and, drawn to the austerity of the material, the techniques of lacquer. She also began to design furniture and interiors.
Gray's first commission for interior design came in 1919, a project for which she developed her famous lacquered "block screens." In 1922, she opened her own shop, the Galerie Jean Desert and that same year, exhibited work in Amsterdam where it drew the attention of Dutch architect, Jan Wils. The rational geometric forms of the De Stijl group in Holland impressed Gray deeply and her work began to convey a stronger sense of modernity and unconventional use of materials and forms. Read more >