Let’s talk Art Déco…even though you might not know what it refers to..the term is widely used even today…
So as I listen to the Jazz Age by Bryan Ferry…I ought to go back…waaayyy back..to the 1920s to be precise..where it all began..
The idea of Art Déco was actually born in the Roaring Twenties or the Jazz Age…the time when “the tempo of the city approached hysteria, stocks reached record peaks and Wall Street boomed in steady golden roar..the parties were bigger, the shows were broader, the buildings were higher, the morals were looser..” as Nick Carraway in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby candidly remarks about the 1920s vibes in New York..
Back in the 20s but in Paris, now, the Art Déco style was crystallised in 1925..the influence of the movement however quickly went off borders to influence the rest of the world both in architecture and culture…
Streamline Moderne, the American version of the Art Deco style was a stripped-down and sleek version of the more sophisticated and often bespoke European Art Déco style. In many ways, the American style grew and evolved to have a much bigger following and use in the U.S. than in Europe.
- As main characteristics of Art Déco projects reflect symmetry, geometry, simplicity, streamline and are quite delightful to the eye with a uniquely crafted opulence and extravagance of the times..
- It was Bevis Hillier who first articulated the term Art Déco in 1968 in his book Art Deco of the 20s and 30s
- As a style it constitutes a mix of modern decorative art styles, largely of the 1920s and 1930s, from elements mainly derived from various avant-garde painting styles of the early 20th century. The patterns below say it all..
- It was also profoundly influenced by Cubism, Russian Constructivism and Italian Futurism, Neo-Classicism and Banhaus – with abstraction, distortion, and simplification, particularly geometric shapes and highly intense colours – celebrating the rise of commerce, technology, and speed…
- With the advent of large-scale manufacturing, artists and designers wished to enhance the appearance of mass-produced functional objects – everything from clocks and ashtrays to cars and buildings.
- Art Déco’s pursuit of beauty in all aspects of life was directly reflective of the relative newness and mass usage of machine-age technology contrasting traditional crafting methods to produce many objects.