Eileen Gray was an early 20th century Irish pioneer of modernist architecture that was unrecognized for her design of house E-1027 on the Côte d'Azur until the very end of her life. Gray was also a lacquer artist, designer and storeowner in Paris. Built for her lover, Jean Badovici in 1924, E-1027 is an example of pure functionality. The house however has a troubled history. Renowned architect, Le Corbusier, betrayed Gray’s modernist vision and claimed the design of the house as his own.
Creators of the work, Charlotte and Zosia, have captured a career and life in beautiful illustrative storytelling. This fictionalized-biographical work is told through gentle expression and lovely subtle use of colour. Conveyed through limited and essential dialogue the reader is left with time to explore the panels and fall into the period setting and sympathise with Gray’s struggle.
The book is beautifully produced and edited together. The palette is soft, gentle, and with clever line-work, each element with a clear purpose. The tones between chapters and settings show great flow and as a reader you can see the culture that was opposing Gray. The pressure from 1920’s extravagance on a young woman artist with designs moving away from the Années folles and the dismissal by male peers and friends take their toll on Gray, but despite this is able to become a pioneer of a new modern design.
I love this book; it is itself an artwork. The story pulled me instantly and I’m sure with capture you too. It is a wonderfully artistic and meaningful book that you will keep forever.
In 1924, work began in earnest on a small villa by the sea in the south of France. Nearly a century later, this structure is a design milestone. Meet Eileen Gray, the woman behind the E-1027 house and a pioneer of the Modern Movement in architecture.
Like so many gifted female artists and designers of her time, Eileen Gray's story has been eclipsed by the men with whom she collaborated. Dzierzawska's exquisite visuals bring to life the tale of a young Irish designer whose work and life came to bloom during the 'Années Folles' of early 20th century Paris.
A masterstroke of feminist illustrated literature, perfect for lovers of architecture, with structural elements woven into the visual organization of the book.