Forwards, sideways, backwards
Coming from an aristocratic Irish-Scottish family, Eileen Gray went to London and Paris to study architecture and design. She first made a name for herself as a leading designer of lacquered walls and decorative panels. With her theories on design and architecture she left an indelible mark on our ideas about living. Today she is still considered the epitome of Modernism and is the only woman whose name is mentioned in the same breath as Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer. Her tubular steel furniture designs, at the time revolutionary, have become classics. The high point of her career was her appointment to the Royal Society of Art in London in 1972 as Royal Designer to Industry. The Museum of Modern Art added her legendary Adjustable Table E 1027 to its permanent design collection in 1978.
In the 1970s Eileen Gray began working with Zeev Aram to put her furniture, rugs and lamps into series production. In 1973, she granted the worldwide rights to manufacture and distribute her designs to Aram Designs Ltd., London. The Vereinigte Werkstätten, from which ClassiCon emerged in 1990, already produced and distributed Eileen Gray designs under license.
Her lifetime achievement was honoured in 2013 with a large solo exhibition at Centre Pompidou. The production of the movie ‘Price of Desire’ and the documentary film ‘Gray matters’ (both 2014) follow the success of this exhibition. After years of restoration work Eileen Gray’s house ‘E 1027’ in Roquebrune is reopened for visitors in summer 2015.