was a movement in decorative arts and architecture
, deriving its name from the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes
held in Paris
. 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
- primitive art of countries such as Africa, Egypt
- the Russian ballet
- animal motifs and forms
- female forms
- modern technology such as the radio and skyscraper.
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