The question is: should we listen to an artist's/designer's ideas? How much do their opinions count in our appraisal and appreciation of their work? Eileen Gray completely rejected the luxurious symbolist lacquer work of her early days (see my previous post). She had moved on to pioneer a more functional design style.
At the end of her life she "blamed" Doucet for encouraging her early elitist style.
Do we have the right to appreciate, even prefer her early work?
What do moral stand points have to do with her aesthetic judgement?
Some might say it is just a matter of taste.
Today many of her modernist designs are in production an sold throughout the world. For the record, I wished to show you a few of the designs she found acceptable -
lest she come back to haunt me for misrepresentation!
Above are the perhaps the two most known designs, the Bibendum chair and the E1027 adjustable table,
as sold today in the Bon Marché furniture department.
Eileen Gray named her tubby tubular chair Bibendum, after the Michelin tire man. (ad from lejournaldunet) Right: Gray's sister liked to have breakfast in bed; the E1027 table was made with her in mind. A key secures the placement of the sliding table top.
The S chair is one of my favorites
- open -
The Non-Conformist chair is the really funky one. Ultra chic through the law of repetition in a restaurant or similar space, I imagine a right arm line-up facing the opposing left in chorus line precision. But in a private space, one or two of these, interestingly placed (for me that means not in a chrome and glass jungle), and you have an element of interest for a collector in a Cabinet d'amateur.
photo Alain Irvine 1970
Because that is what it's all about, isn't it - the right mix?
Mlle Gray certainly looks comfortable in her 18th century rue Bonaparte apartment that she furnished with her own modern designs, and she didn't feel it necessary to rip out the mantle or
replace the doors and mouldings.