An international symposium examining the life, work and legacy of Eileen Gray, one of the most celebrated and influential designers and architects of the 20th-century, will be held at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Tuesday 13 May and Wednesday 14 May 2014. The symposium is presented in association with the Centre Pompidou, Paris, in advance of the much anticipated opening of the restored villa E-1027 in 2015 and following the recent successful exhibition Eileen Gray Architect Designer Painter attended by some 80,000 visitors to IMMA.
The symposium investigates the extraordinary achievements by Gray that went unrecognised until her 90s and focuses on the collaborations and friendships that most shaped her design concepts. Amongst the speakers taking part are: Peter Adam (Filmmaker and Author, Eileen Gray Her Life and Work, 2009) who will discuss his close working friendship and memories of Eileen Gray; Beatriz Colomina (Architectural Historian and Professor of History and Theory of Architecture, Princeton University, USA) who will discuss her research into the unique circumstances of villa E-1027’s creation, history and controversy; Philippe Daniel Garner (Director of Christie’s Auctions and Sales, London) will explain how research into Gray’s work was the impetus into his design interests (In 2009, Christie’s sold a Gray armchair at auction in Paris for €21.9 million, setting an auction record for 20th-century decorative art) and Joseph Rykwert (Architectural Historian, Critic and 2014 RIBA Gold Medalist) who will explore how Gray’s all-embracing work remains a puzzle in the history of architecture, and is one of the most fascinating episodes in the development of European Modernity. All speakers will look at the importance of and critical role women have played within the evolution of architectural theory and design of the 20th and 21st Centuries.