Interiors That Conform to Our Existence: Eileen Gray, Evelyn Wyld, Eyre de Lanux, and Sapphic Primitivism in Interwar Paris

Niharika Russell

In the interwar period, Paris was the centre for Sapphic Modernism and was recognized as the capital of same-sex love and creative intellectualism. Numerous lesbian women moved to Paris during this period to pursue careers in painting, writing, design, and architecture. The city provided them an opportunity to live more openly and to form creative and social networks. This era was also the apogee of French colonialism, and many prominent creatives living and working in Paris engaged philosophically and artistically with primitivist ideas and aesthetics. Simultaneously, growing interwar concerns about French national stability focused on the relationship between the health of the nation, normative sexuality, and racial purity. The emerging field of sexology established strong associations between the primitive Other and homosexuality, an association that was taken up by Europeans seeking to understand and define their own sexual difference… PDF

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