Art deco is considered to be one of the major styles of design to have caught a strong foothold internationally.
In a lot of ways, it defies the passing of time, making art deco a timeless design style.
This is why we bring to you the history of Art Deco for a better understanding of the style, its characteristics and some examples.
In our next article, we’ll be talking about how to add the art deco style to your home decor!
So, let’s start with the basics.
The History of Art Deco
The art deco era was short. It began right before World War 1 and started dying down as World War 2 began to take over Europe. This was only a couple of decades.
And in spite of this limited time, you’ll find various monuments built around the world that owe their design to the art deco era.
There’s a certain beauty and reach of art deco…
It spread to every aspect in this world that was related to design. Right from architecture, interiors, graphic design, jewelry, and even cars.
You don’t normally see a design trend reach so far and wide.
The art deco style of design is still used in various places.
The Fundamentals of Art Deco
The roots of art deco lay peacefully in France. To be specific, 19th Century France.
During this time, art was on a roll. There were creative people and their works popping everywhere around the country.
The majority of thanks should be given to the decorative artists of this time. These were the people who worked on furniture, textile designs, and other types of ornamentations.
It was only during the art deco swing that they were recognized as “arts decoratifs”.
In 1901, with the establishment of France’s Society of Decorative Arts, these artists were given the right to have authorship of their works. This right was previously only reserved for painters and sculptors.
And then, in 1902 the first ever decorative arts expo was organized in Italy, proving that art deco had the potential to influence the mass.
Diving in Deep
During the 20th century, the art deco style of design was gaining traction.
There were new magazines being dedicated to this art and the cities were becoming more decorative by the day.
One of the reasons that art deco was able to grow and expand as much as it did was because of French nationalism. It was during this time that the French artists had had enough of affordable German furniture and decided it was time to become a part of the competition.
Multiple fashion houses, clothing designers, and departmental stores joined this artistic fight. Named brands like Cartier and LV began hiring decorative artists, boosting the art deco style!
This is where the Art Deco Trademark Style developed.
The use of rich materials like silk, ebony, and ivory were paired with colorful, bold, and vibrant motifs.
Art Deco Seeping into Buildings
About a decade after being recognized as decorative artists, art deco was spreading to buildings in the country.
Auguste Perret’s Theatre des Champs-Elysees was the first structural trademark that belonged to the art deco style.
The interiors and the exterior, both boasted the characteristics of art deco design with various features like:
- Geometric patterns
- Straight lines
- Rectangular and clean design
- Gorgeous curtains
- Multiple paintings
Within Paris, art deco design style was influencing a lot of furniture that was selling in the market.
Sometimes, the furniture was loaded with floral patterns and discordant colors. Silk and ebony were the new and rich materials used as upholstery for these extraordinary looking furniture pieces.
The Story of How Art Deco was Named
This is where the story gets interesting. Until 1925, art deco didn’t officially have a name.
Being inspired by Cubism, this art style overlaps with the cubist style of art. This obvious overlap was first shown in 1912’s architectural display of The Cubist House at the Annual Paris Art and Design Exhibition.
After this show, art deco shot up in popularity.
Le Corbusier designed Espirit Nouveau pavilion in 1925 after he saw the Cubist House. This further showed the overlapping features of the two design styles after which, this style became recognized and known as the famous Art Deco.
The Characteristics of Art Deco
Art Deco is known to capture imagination with ease and portray it various different styles. It creates something exciting that everybody can enjoy.
Some of its primary characteristics are:
- Triangular shapes
- Straight and smooth lines
- Influences of heavy geometry
- Zigzag pattern
- Exaggerated use of curves
- Stepped forms
- Sleek forms
- Floral patterns that have been stylized
- Vibrant and loud colors
- Hard edges
- Trapezoidal shapes
- Low reliefs
This list could go on forever!
The reason behind it being that art deco takes inspiration from various styles.
Take a look at some of our Art Deco inspired products!
And don’t forget to read our next blog!