Art deco

Art Deco, or Deco, is an influential visual arts design style that first appeared in France after World War I and began flourishing internationally in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s before its popularity waned after World War II.  

It is an eclectic style that combines traditional craft motifs with Machine Age imagery and materials. The style is often characterized by rich colours, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation.

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A typical Art Deco style poster. image: Fine Art America

Deco emerged from the interwar period when rapid industrialisation was transforming culture. One of its major attributes is an embrace of technology. This distinguishes Deco from the organic motifs favoured by its predecessor Art Nouveau.

Historian Bevis Hillier defined Art Deco as "an assertively modern style [that] ran to symmetry rather than asymmetry, and to the rectilinear rather than the curvilinear; it responded to the demands of the machine and of new material [and] the requirements of mass production”.


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A 1934 style car designed by Carl Breer is consider art deco inspired.
image: wikipedia

Origin of the term, or name of Art Deco

The first use of the term Art Deco has been attributed to architect Le Corbusier, who penned a series of articles in his journal L'Esprit nouveau under the headline "1925 Expo: Arts Déco”. 

He was referring to the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exposition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts)


During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance and faith in social and technological progress.

Deco was also influenced by Cubism, Constructivism, Functionalism, Modernism, and Futurism

The style of the spire of the Chrysler building is often cited as an example of Art deco style. image: wikipedia


Source adapted from: Art Deco. (2015, January 8). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 09:51, January 9, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Art_Deco&oldid=641626720