Art Deco was a style of design that became popular in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The art deco style represented modern technology and the machine age.
The Art Deco Style
Art deco was characterised by geometric shapes, smooth lines, and streamlined forms.
Many art deco works were made of chrome, plastics, and other industrial materials, but designers also used more expensive materials like silver, crystal, and ivory. It was these mediums which led to the art deco style becoming associated with wealth and sophistication.
However, to cater for the growing middle class, art deco objects and artworks became mass produced.
History of Art Deco
The term art deco originated from Exposition Internationale des Art Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, which was name of a design exhibition held in Paris in 1925.
That said, the art deco movement was influenced by a number of other avant-garde movements as well, including Cubism, Russian Constructivism, and Italian Futurism. Art deco also borrows from Middle East design, Mayan and Egyptian art, and also Greek and Roman themes.
The art deco design was originally seen in furniture, jewelry, and textiles, but the art deco movement began to influence art and architecture around the world as well.
Art Deco in World & Australian Architecture
In New York City, the Chrysler Building and Rockefeller Centre have the metal ornamentation and geometric patterns typical of the time.
Many building across Australia were also fashioned in the art deco style. In Melbourne, art deco buildings include the Century Building, Yule House, Mitchell House, Manchester Unity building, and Myer Emporium Mural Hall.
Sydney has the ANZAC War Memorial, the Mutual Life and Citizen’s Building, the Dental Hospital of Sydney, Archibald Fountain, and Minerva Theatre.
Noteworthy Art Deco Artists
Because art deco works were mass produced by various artists, it is hard to pinpoint the major art deco artists of the movement.
However, two well known art deco artists are Paul Manship and Rene Lalique.
Other Art Movements
- Abstract Expressionism
- Academic Art
- Art Deco
- Art Nouveau
- Conceptual Art
- Figurative Art
- Naive Art
- Pop Art
- Surrealism / Surrealist Art