Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Art Deco

Art Deco was a movement in decorative arts and architecture, deriving its name from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925. It was a major style in Europe and the US during the 1930s. The term Art Deco was apparently not coined until the 1960s, and its practitioners were not working as a coherent community of stylists. It is considered to be eclectic, being influenced by a variety of sources, to name a few

Corresponding to these influences, the Art Deco is characterised by use of materials such as sharkskin and zebraskin, zigzag and stepped forms, bold and sweeping curves(unlike the sinuous curves of the Art nouveau), chevron patterns,sunburst motif,etc., Some of these motifs were ubiquitous- for example the sunburst motif was used in as varied contexts such as a ladies shoe, a radiator grille, the spire of the Chrysler Building. Art Deco was an opulent style and this opulence is attributed as a reaction to the forced austerity during the years of World War I. Art Deco was a popular style for interiors of cinema theatres and ocean liners such as Normandie.

A parallel movement- the Streamline or Streamline Moderne, was influenced by manufacturing and streamlining techniques arising from science and mass production- shape of bullet, liners, etc., where aerodynamics are involved. Streamlined forms began to be used even for objects such as pencil sharpeners and refrigerators. In architecture, this style was characterised by rounded corners, used predominantly for buildings at road junctions.

Some historians see Art Deco as a type of or early form of Modernism

Though Art Deco slowly lost patronage in the West, in colonial countries such as India, it became a gateway for Modernism, and continued to be used well after, even in the nineteen sixties.

Noted Art Deco Artists and Designers

Noted Art Deco Architects

Noted Art Deco Designs

External Links