Art Deco. Thursday , August 09th , 2018 - 21:48:07 PM
Art Deco was, above all, modern with a capital M. The geometric shapes, sharp angles, stepped patterns and sweeping curves were meant to capture the rapid advances in industry and technology that characterized the early 20th Century. This is why some of the most iconic examples of Art Deco style are the hi-tech symbols of the time: skyscrapers, ocean liners, radios and even phonographs. It's why the favored materials were aluminum, glass and stainless steel. Even the wood was shiny, either lacquered or inlaid. The floors were shiny as well, marble or tile, often with checkerboard patterns. Rugs featured geometric patterns, while Zebra skin and shagreen (snake skin) covered decorative surfaces. Mirrors were usually round and plentiful. Sunburst and chevron motifs could be seen on everything from furniture to woman's shoes to radiator grilles on cars. Paradoxically, while Art Deco was the epitome of Modernism, influences included patterns and symbols from Aztec Mexico, Egypt and Africa.
When a group of leading Parisian artists organized an exposition dedicated to modern industrial and decorative art in 1925, they sparked the birth of a short-lived but highly influential design movement later known as Art Deco. In the 20s and 30s it came to dominate the entire range of decorative arts, in fields as diverse as architecture, industrial design, and, of course, interior design. We can still see Art Deco buildings in many cities and, thanks to a resurgence in the 80s, in hotels and other commercial spaces. To get the complete picture all you have to do today is take a look at any Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musical film of the 30s and you will be instantly submerged in the total Art Deco experience. I love the futurist faith central to Art Deco, a faith that now seems whimsical and naïve, but that created a thoroughly unique design language that can add a wistful element of nostalgia and playfulness to contemporary interior design.
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