- Eileen Gray was best known for lacquer, but later designed furniture and homes. Her work focussed on hidden details. Lacquer was different from the contemporary Art Nouveau movement in Paris.
- Lacquer affects the structure as well as the aesthetics of a piece – you have to lacquer both sides to prevent warping. In her furniture, she tried to match pieces to both an interior environment, and to the occupant’s needs.
- Gray’s work in lacquer and and furniture/interior design influenced her work as an architect. She believed in making a building from the inside out, and focussing on the interior as much as the exterior.
One common element in this passage is that Gray views her works as wholes. Lacquer required her to consider structure as well as beauty. With furniture, she considered function and also how the piece looked in the context of the room. With architecture, she cared about the outside, the inside, and the furniture. Her work is an example of holism.
There are a lot of details, but what I selected in the paragraphs summaries are the main things you need to know. Beyond that, you should just know where to look for a detail if a question asks about it.
Note that a lot of answers warp lines 14-16. Those lines say that Gray avoided Art Nouveau style. But the passage never says what her peers thought of the fact Gray avoided this style! Her peers might have approved, or they might have disapproved. We don’t know!
So, Gray’s peers might have thought “Wow, that lacquer is pretty! Good job Gray!”. But a lot of wrong answers seem to assume the passage told us that Gray was shunned for her lacquer work – this simply isn’t in the passage though.
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