1.6.1 Art Deco (1909-1939)

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Meditation of Apollon and the Muses, Bourdelle
And What Was Ours is Ours Again, Mauzan
Lady with Panther, Barbier

Victoire, Lalique
Chrysler Building, Van Alen
Young Lady with Gloves, Lempicka

Art Deco, sometimes referred to as Deco, is a style of visual arts, architecture and design that first appeared in France just before World War I.

Art Deco influenced the design of buildings, furniture, jewellery, fashion, cars, theatres, trains, ocean liners, and everyday objects such as radios and vacuum cleaners.

It took its name, short for Arts Décoratifs, from the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes (International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts) held in Paris in 1925.

It combined modern styles with fine craftsmanship and rich materials. During its heyday, Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance, and faith in social and technological progress.

Art Deco is one of the first truly international styles, but its dominance ended with the beginning of World War II and the rise of the strictly functional and unadorned styles of modern architecture and the International Style of architecture that followed.

There was no section set aside for painting at the 1925 Exposition. Art deco painting was by definition decorative, designed to decorate a room or work of architecture, so few painters worked exclusively in the style, but two painters are closely associated with Art Deco.

Jean Dupas painted Art Deco murals for the Bordeaux Pavilion at the 1925 Decorative Arts Exposition in Paris, and also painted the picture over the fireplace in the Maison de la Collectioneur exhibit at the 1925 Exposition. His murals were also prominent in the decor of the French ocean liner SS Normandie. However, his work was purely decorative, designed as a background or accompaniment to other elements of the decor.

The other painter closely associated with the style is Tamara de Lempicka. Born in Poland, she emigrated to Paris after the Russian Revolution. She studied under Maurice Denis and André Lhote, and borrowed many elements from their styles. She painted portraits in a realistic, dynamic and colorful Art Deco style



Image source: Wikimedia commons
Bourdelle learned the lessons of Greek art well, and drew on the great mythological figures as an ” inexhaustible source of humanity. His sculpted work includes over forty subjects from antiquity.

Apollo was the sun god who presided over the games of the Muses, and inspired poets and soothsayers. This inspiration was all the more radiant for being delivered by the golden arrow of the warrior sun god.

Modelled circa 1898, abandoned then begun again in 1900, the Tête d’Apollon (Head of Apollo) took its final form in 1909. Bourdelle wanted it to be Austere, worried, free of any past. Free from the influence of Rodin and superficial virtuosities. The architecture of the face, with its pure edges, on an almost Cubist base, bears the trace of the crevices, cracks and scars of the original mask that Bourdelle reworked in search of the permanent plane to win the fight of creation. The demands of the artist meet the precept of the civilising god, engraved on the Delphi temple, Nothing too much.
[Source: bourdelle.paris.fr]
Meditation of Apollon and the Muses, The1910-2Bas-relief Sculpture
Bourdelle, Antoine (Emile-Antoine)1861-1929, aged 67French sculptorArt Deco
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1610-11]

Théâtre des Champs Elysées  
Achille Lucien Mauzan was born on the French Riviera, but moved to Italy in 1905, known as a decorative illustrator designing during the Art Deco movement, though he also painted and sculpted.

After a period of study in the École des Beaux-Arts at Lyon, France, Mauzan during the period between the wars, he used forms and materials under the influence of the avant-garde cubists.

During his career as a poster printer and designer, Mauzan designed over 2,000 posters, using a style marked by humour and brilliant colours for advertisements and events and over 1,000 postcard images.

He made several important posters for the Italian film industry in Turin, and then went to work at Ricordi music publishing from 1912 to 1917. Later, from 1919 to 1923 he works in the Magical press (Giovanni Magagnoli). In 1924 in Milan he establishes with Morzenti his own publishing house, the Mauzan-Morzenti Agency.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]

Image source: artsandculture.google.com
And What Was Ours is Ours Again1914-18LithographPoster
Mauzan, Achille Lucien1883-1952, aged 69French-Italian illustratorArt Deco
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1610-12]

National WWI Museum and Memorial,  2 Memorial Dr, Kansas City, MO 64108, USA136 x 95  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Originally created as a display card for Louis Cartier in 1914, later used for advertising the firm. The woman is dressed in a fashionable Poiret gown with a panther behind her.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]
Lady with Panther (for Cartier)1914IllustrationAdvertising
Barbier, George1882-1932, aged 50French illustratorArt Deco
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1610-13]

In 1925, René Lalique began the design of thirty car mascots to adorn the vehicles of the day.

Originally made of glass, the Victoire Mascot is one of the most stunning of these figurines.

Designed in 1928, Victoire is a story of peace, created to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 11th November 1918 armistice of World War I.

The suggestion of speed and movement is evident in Victoire’s beautiful face. The artistic combination of satin-finish, clear crystal and light bring Victoire to life.
[Source: lalique.com]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Victoire1928GlassAuto part
Lalique, Rene1860-1945, aged 85French glass designerArt Deco
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1610-14]

Toyota Automobile Museum  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
The Chrysler Building is an Art Deco skyscraper in the Turtle Bay neighborhood on the East Side of Manhattan, New York City, at the intersection of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue near Midtown Manhattan.

At 319 m, it is the tallest brick building in the world with a steel framework, and was the world’s tallest building for eleven months after its completion in 1930. In 2019, the Chrysler was said to be the 11th-tallest building in the city, tied with The New York Times Building.

Perceptions of the building have slowly evolved into its now being seen as a paragon of the Art Deco architectural style; and in 2007, it was ranked ninth on the List of America’s Favourite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]
Chrysler Building, NY1930 Sculpture/ Architecture
Van Alen, William1883-1954, aged 71American architectArt Deco
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1610-15]

405 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10174, USA   
Painted in oil on plywood, it measures 45.5cm by 61.5cm and is currently held by the Musée national d’art modern in Paris. It is painted in the Art Deco style, which was heavily influenced by Cubism. The distinct angularity of the style did not prevent De Lempicka from capturing a sense that the fabric in the dress was moving in the breeze, or conveying the subtle eroticism of her subject’s curves, including the outline of her nipples, bellybutton, and upper thigh.

Born Maria Górska in 1898 to a wealthy Polish family, Tamara appears to have been determined from an early age to determine the course of her own life. She was married twice, the first time at the age of 18 and the second time, following her divorce from her first husband, to a Baron who had commissioned her to paint his mistress.

De Lempicka was openly bisexual and had a number of female lovers. In other words, she lived the quintessential Bohemian life, first in Paris and later in America, and was a popular portrait painter with the ‘It’ crowd of the time.

She remains best-known for her portraits of strong, independent women. Tamara de Lempicka died in Mexico in 1980.
[Source: thecultureprojectblog.

Image source:
Wikimedia commons
Young Lady with Gloves1930Oil/CanvasPortrait
Lempicka, Tamara de1898-1980, aged 81Polish painterArt Deco
Musée national d’art moderne,  Centre Pompidou (Beaubourg), Place Georges Pompidou,
75004 Paris
43 x 58  

Forward to 1.6.2 Bloomsbury Group (1905–1945)
Back to 1.6 Modern Art (post-WW1-1950s)

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