Art Deco (1925 – 1940)

Art Deco was a movement in art and architecture, characterised by its emphasis on the decorative arts as well as being a reaction to the excesses of the previous Art Nouveau. It emerged during the year 1925, where it was first put on display at the Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes. The style received popular recognition throughout Europe and soon after spread to the rest of the world as a wave of artistic and architectural sensibilities. It was like the aesthetic of Art Nouveau before it focused on the use of angular, often symmetrical geometric forms. One such classical example of Art Deco can be seen in the exterior design of the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings of New York City built in the 1930s.

The Art Deco style featured smooth uninterrupted lines, streamlined forms, ornamental elements and at times gaudy colour schemes. It was in its beginnings a luxury style whose designs were centred on elegance, sophistication, wealth, prosperity and also individuality as a reaction to the austerity of World War I.  Although hailing itself as a unique style, it drew influence from the art movements before it such as Futurism, Fauvism, Cubism and many others. The style which thrived on formalism held no philosophical or socio-economic basis and was meant to be purely aesthetic.

Although Art Deco survived through much of the Great Depression of the 20th century, a serious blow was dealt to it during the atrocities of the Second World War. It felt a fall in popularity as it was seen as too garish and flamboyant for the wartime mood and fell from grace as quickly as the Art Nouveau movement before it. Nevertheless, Art Deco would reappear throughout the latter part of the 20th-century affecting the Pop Art of the 1950s, and also in the 1980s with the growing popularity of graphic design and illustration.

Art Deco Artwork


The Chrysler Building (1930), William Van Alen


Rockefeller Center (1939), Raymond Hood

Art Deco Inspired Artwork


The Great Gatsby Poster (2013), Like Minded Studio & Bazmark


Shop Cover (2013), Mads Berg




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