Style highlights:
- applying geometric shapes, sharp edges, but with rounded corners,
- using materials such as chrome, glass, shiny fabrics, mirrors, ceramic tiles, bakelite and expensive, imported materials such as ivory, bronze, precious stones,
- shells, sunrises, flowers were recurring motives,
- bright colours,
- using historical themes e.g. Egyptian,
- architecture with large windows and doors, flat roofs, corner windows often appeared,
- furniture in single copies, streamline shapes.

art deco

Art deco was a reaction to the Art Nouveau movement, an expression of the opposition to the disharmony. This style diverged significantly into the future, began to use mass production to create useful objects, however consistent their highest quality. Because of that they unfortunately were not available to the whole society. Exploiting geometrical, trapezoidal shapes were characteristic features of this style. Foreign trade developed in that times. People were more and more travelling, therefore Egyptian, Aztec, African or ancient motives were becoming more popular and accessible in ornamentation. In addition, artists began to use materials such as ivory, ebony, silver, pearls, which were also imported from foreign travel. By using new materials, Art Deco objects looked elegant, were both styled and functional.

The Art Deco term appeared for the first time at the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts in 1925 in Paris and comes from the French phrase “art decoratif” – decorative art. At the exhibition a lot of utilitarian objects were gathered, avant-garde conceptions, the latest trends in architecture, graphic design and art were presented. It has been proven that, despite the World War I, the art continues to develop. The artists of Art Deco were using new materials in their projects such as aluminium, stainless steel, zebra or shark leather. Moreover, zigzag, triangular motives were popular as well as rays of sunshine, women’s acts, leaves or streamlined forms. They were using mathematically geometrical forms and they were aspiring for including synthetic forms, drawing simultaneously from classical styles in the art. Light colours e.g. pink, blue were dominating. Functional objects had the streamlined shape. The architecture was dominated by low, white buildings, large windows and simple doors. Shiny floors were made of wood, linoleum in abstract patterns or tiles in chessboard pattern. Huge carpets in geometrical patterns were used as the decoration. Wardrobes were in the colour of the wood, most often were veneered with simple shapes.

Art déco was concentrating mainly on seeking the beauty in functional objects. Items were supposed to be useful and at the same time to look stylishly and elegantly. Simple blocks were used in projects, at the same time discreet accents were added to improve them visually and gave them a stylish character. Workmanship supposed to be perfect. Art déco style with its theories had a huge impact on the development of such trends in the art as Pop Art and Memphis.

Eileen Gray, Raymond Templier, Clarice Cliff, René Lalique, AJM Cassandre, Georges Barbier, Pierre Brissaud, Jean Dupas, Tamara de Lempicka, Paul Poiret, Arthur Radebaugh, Jacques-&Eacutemile Ruhlmann.

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