Eileen Gray’s Lacquer Screens

As some are beginning to notice, this is an Eileen Gray / Cy Twombly appreciation zone, with occasional articles about watches and cars.

This screen embodies Ms. Gray’s transition from Art Deco to a more rigorous Modernism, stripping away ornamentation for a cleaner look. However, it didn’t mean that the piece was devoid of hand-work; in fact, the creation of the piece included a lot of ‘secret details.’

Her use of traditional Japanese ‘urushi’ lacquer techniques came out of her friendship with Seizo Sugawara, and continued through most of her life. She learned the technique while in art school in London, and deployed it on both of her ‘signature pieces’ — the ‘Lotus Table’ and of course the famous ‘Dragon Chair’ owned by Saint Laurent.

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