Monday, October 5, 2009
Paula's request for ART DECO
Art Deco is a decorative style that is essentially an extension of the French Art Nouveau and English Aesthetic styles, but also includes elements of Arts and Crafts form. Some historians claim that because of its eclectic borrowing from so many sources, it should not be identified as a distinct style. Yet it has enjoyed recurrent popularity, and has contributed to later stylistic developments. The term Art Deco is used to describe a design style that originates around World War I, and runs through to World War II (c. 1915-1945).
The style emphasizes surface embellishment, drawing heavily on the colors and styles of some of the early modern art movements, from Impressionism through Cubism. Like many of the modern art styles, it was inspired by Chinese and Japanese art, both of which were popular during this period.
Art Deco furnishings frequently used marquetry, enamelling and other techniques to create surface interest. During the 1920's vivid color was often used. Both furniture and textiles tended to use decorative designs that exhibited a strong painterly quality reminiscent of Impressionist, and post-Impressionist, Fauve, and Cubist techniques. The forms of furniture and interiors combined sleek curves with angularity, the forms often quoting earlier decorative styles in a simplified form.
In the 1930's the color palette became more subdued with white, black, and metallic surfaces combined with softer hues. Decorative design in textiles continued to quote from modern art, with Cubism appearing as a more apparent influence, in addition to other styles. The characteristic forms, a combination of smooth curves and angles, continued to be the dominant feature of the style. The style came to be associated with a high technology, futurist view of American culture in an age when the romance of air travel was at its peak. The idea of streamlining based on aerodynamics became a feature of design used in everything from architecture to appliances. Classic examples of Art Deco architecture include the Chrysler Building and Rockefeller Center in New York City, and the Miami Beach waterfront. The graphic designer Erte created a characteristic Art Deco style in illustration and decoration.
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