Eileen Gray was born in 1878 in Ireland, Enniscorthy. She is thought as a highly influential woman of the 20th century inspiring both modernism and Art Deco, though this was not always the way. During her career she was often neglected – forced to stand alone.
Beginning her career as a lacquer artist, then a furniture designer and finally as an architect Gray was forced to forge her way through a predominantly male dominated environment. She was also denied from supportive networks that her male counterparts enjoyed. This sense of independence was part that shaped not only her design style but also her way of working. This took form in a luxurious take on the geometric forms and industrial produced materials.
Gray’s first venture into furniture design came when she was commissioned to decorate a house for an apartment on Rue de Lota. After her first talent through lacquer was expressed she designed lamps and rugs using her favorite geometric patterns.
Her designs of the leather and tubular steel Bibendum Chair and E-1027 glass and tubular steel table are now icons often being seen as Grand Confort club chairs. What had previously been her down fall – it is her obscurity that makes her work so famous today.