Director: Marco Orsini
Documentary | MC/IR | 2014
73 min | Stereo
49th Hof International Film Festival
Eileen Gray (1878-1976) is one of the most important modern architects and designers. She built the first concrete modernist villa and made the most expensive piece of 20th century furniture ever sold at an auction. Provided with independent means and excellent connections by her aristocratic family, Gray was already one of the most celebrated designers in the world when she turned her back on luxury goods and rich clients to pursue in her homes an ideal of maximum comfort in minimal space. She also designed iconic, functional and universally imitated furnishings for mass production.
Gray’s life and career intersected with many of the most important political, cultural and social developments of the century. She survived her own decline into mid-century obscurity to find herself, in the last decade of her life, once again in vogue, the subject of scholarly interest, career retrospectives and a heated market for her licensed and original work. Gray provoked powerful and complex reactions among her famous peers, powerful clients, zealous admirers and the art world that embraced, then ignored, misunderstood and then exploited her ideas, her creation and her integrity. Today, she has been rediscovered by a new generation of scholars, artists, collectors and devotees of modernist design and architecture who are committed to understanding her legacy and celebrating her achievement.