Charles was a designer with an eye for form. Ray was an artist with an eye for color. They complemented each other on projects like coat hangers, films, their namesake chairs, and large architectural projects. Through four decades of creative work, they revolutionized design and created an indelible mark on American History. The duo was not without faults, but the pair proved to be inseparable and inspirational. They were the Eameses.
The Eames studio—part workshop, part circus— was a partnership of two free spirits: one, an architecture school dropout who never got his license; the other, a painter trained by Hans Hofmann who used objects or any other surface as her canvases. They shunned the term “artist” as pompous.
Charles and Ray Eames arrived in Los Angeles in 1941, a year after they met at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Charles was married to his first wife, Catherine at the time, but Ray began assisting him and Eero Saarinen in their designs for the Museum of Modern Art’s Organic Design in Home Furnishings Competition, and soon he divorced Catherine and married Ray.
There is always a karmic danger in marrying someone with whom you committed adultery. The women at the company almost uniformly describe him as charismatic. At one point (that we know of), Charles was looking to leave Ray, and was only stopped because the woman confesses, she couldn’t do that to Ray. (https://ageofthegeek.org/2011/11/23/eames-the-architect-and-the-painter-or-why-feminism-matters/ ), Pasadena Art & Science Beat,
Their partnership, which obliterated the distinctions between private and professional lives, inspired numerous contemporary working marriages…Charles and Ray, architect and artist, wanted to do everything — disciplinary boundaries meant nothing to them — and, by and large, succeeded.
Chakaia Booker (Born 1953)
African-American sculptor best known for her work using tires as a medium
Kiki Smith (Born 1954)
German-born American artist’s work includes sculpture, printmaking, photography, drawing, and textiles
Leonora Carrington (1917-2011), British-born Mexican Surrealist painter, artist, and writer
Clara Ledesma (1924-1999)
Dominican-born artist and gallery owner created paintings, watercolors, and drawings
Faith Ringgold (Born 1930), African-American visual artist, author, illustrator, and social activist
Sam Gilliam (Born 1933), Innovative African-American painter, part of the Washington Color School
Edward Mitchell Bannister (1828-1901), African-American painter of landscapes and pastoral subjects
Harriet Powers (1837-1910), African-American folk artist and quilt maker
This self-taught Paris-born American painter was introduced into the circle of surrealist artists in 1924, and subsequently participated in all the Surrealists’ major exhibitions.
Known for his use of thick impasto and his highly abstract landscape paintings, this Russian-French painter was one of the most influential European artists of the post-war period.
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This photographer dropped out during her senior year of high school, knowing she wanted to do something in the arts though she could not draw well; she found the answer in 1931 while assisting in the darkroom of a portrait photographer in the Bronx.
This artist started her career at age 46, when she enrolled in classes with the intent of making quilts for her daughters to take to college; she eventually graduated from traditional patterns to abstract designs and narratives of African American history and heritage.
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This artist, an early proponent of computer-based weaving programs, established a modern context for weaving while staying true to the traditional technique of flat tapestry hanging.
This painter and printmaker’s early paintings incorporated planes receding into space, then it morphed into organic forms that looked like seeds, shells, and plants, and shapes called “morulas.”
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What Russian artist, at the end of 1921, rejected easel painting and devoted herself to textile and graphic design and theatre sets?
What abstract expressionist painter gained critical acclaim in 1948 with his first one-man exhibition, held at Charles Egan Gallery, at the age of forty-four?
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