Gray Matters is the story of Eileen Gray, the 20th century artist whose vision changed the way we live with furniture and within houses. It is an historical, scholarly, and cinematic investigation of the life and career of one of the most influential, but least known, modernist icons.
“Until very recently, Eileen Gray was one of the greatest unsung design heroes of the 20th century" says Kyle Bergman, Architecture & Design Film Festival Founder and Director. "While we're delighted to present films on contemporary icons such as Zaha Hadid, Michele de Lucchi, and Michael Graves, this is a special opportunity to share Gray's important contributions and pioneering spirit with a new generation of design and architecture enthusiasts.”
Gray, who built the first concrete modernist villa and made the most expensive piece of furniture ever sold at auction, experienced early triumphs, followed by middle-aged obscurity, succeeded by a decade of re-discovery and acclaim since her death in 1976.
Gray Matters seeks to explain who Gray was, to survey her immense range of creative activity, and to explore how her artistic journey shaped the world we inhabit today. Marco Orsini and his crew followed Gray’s travels from the Irish countryside to London, Paris, the Riviera and beyond. Of aristocratic birth and financially independent, she was a woman of wide and celebrated acquaintance who spent her life at the epicenter of modernist invention.
The film Features never-before-seen footage and candid interviews with the world’s foremost scholars, curators, auctioneers and collectors, including four living peers and collaborators of the artist. It considers the contemporary relevance of her Modern and Minimalist architectural and design aesthetic, with Gray’s newly restored masterpiece, the Villa E1027, playing a leading role in this compelling account of inspiration, rivalry, jealousy, neglect, and rehabilitation.
Gray Matters will be screened October 15 at Tribeca Cinemas for the Opening Night presentation of the 2014 Architecture & Design Film Festival and will be replayed on the festival’s closing day, October 19th.