Reconstructed in 1985 in Vienna, the glittering nickel plated iron, aluminium and glass form of the façade reveals refined, minimalistic lines that are today also an intrinsic and important aspect of contemporary visual culture.
Dining on exquisite French cuisine under the auspices of the ‘three fates’ from antiquity, now in their new streamlined form, was very much de rigeur.
Paris became the meeting ground of both the ‘ancients’ and the ‘moderns’. The future was now.
A delightful commode, laquered in celadon green, is a pared down version of an intimate piece of furniture conceived during the reign of Louix XV and his mistress, a Woman of Influence: Mme de Pompadour.
Art Deco (1920 – 1940), a revolution of design and style for the modern age, eached the apex of its popularity between two global conflicts, World War I and II.
Art Deco’s purpose was luxury and leisure perfectly exemplified by Paul Iribe whose designs celebrated classicism and styles favoured originally by the royal courts of France.
They work so splendidly in contemporary settings whether commercial or residential. A select coterie is already haunting auction houses and second hand dealers endeavouring to snap up special pieces to display as style statements.
Belladiva, a bevvy of bountiful beauties from Brisbane with blazingly good voices will raise them in October to both honour, and to assist the Melbourne based 20th Man Fund raise money to afford a front-line youth worker to help kids without support, many without a place to live.
He also designed a large number of statuettes of children, clothed or naked made in ivory or in bronze and ivory like the flame leaper.
His three legged corner cabinet of lacquered rosewood inlaid with ivory, ebony and rare woods was a revolution in style.
Comfort and conviviality were major concerns. Art Deco is an exciting style, and should; ‘like the archetypal drink of the period be enjoyed while it is still laughing at you’ said Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, who was always a law unto himself.
The Art Deco style was about integrating contemporary living with art, and turning life into art against those consciously working for the undoing of art, and its purpose was enjoyment.
It was also about the fashionable world of haute couture as dresses began to ape the crisp clean lines of a new international architectural style, while their owners sought to become celebrities, living style icons.
There was a pastiche of styles within itself and it borrowed artistic impulses from the ancient past to the distant future, from Pharaonic Egypt to the Aztecs and on to the futuristic world of Buck Rogers.
Manufacturers and designers wanted to ensure that everyone benefited from the rapid development in mass production.
Wine is at the heart and soul of French culture and, for its people, the art of pleasure has always been a very serious business, especially at La Tour d’Argent
This new design style emerged between the two world wars, exuding both optimism and ingenuity.
The Secession Building in Vienna is today affectionately known by the Viennese as “the cabbage head’ because of the big ball of gilded laurel leaves that surmounts the structure, snugly fitting into what has now become an architectural icon.
Massive pendent ceiling lustres were at either end, the walls veneered in hammered glass panels interspersed with over thirty elongated lighting fixtures and twelve fountains of light on pedestals adding to the sparkling atmosphere.
These include in England the Aesthetic Movement and Arts and Crafts Movement, there was French Art Nouveau, Vienna Secession and Wiener Werkstatte, the Northern European Jugendstil (Youthful Style), French Art Deco and the German Bauhaus Modernists.
Savvy and streamlined at first as it progressed the style became a cultural melting pot that included a fascination for Byzantium, the Gothic, classical Greece, the exotic Near and Far east, for South America, tribal Africa and the Ballet Russes, whose dancing troupe with their celebrity leader, Russian art critic, patron, impresario and founder, Serge Diaghilev, were busy touring around the world.
European metalworkers, ceramicists and glass workers had a field day because by now their art forms had solved a great many difficulties associated with their production and were able to produce items more economically.
It came to full fruition through the Paris Salons of the 1920’s, manifesting itself emotionally with zest and playfulness.
The style was influenced by exotic design, including the costumes and sets of the Russian entrepreneur Serge Diaghilev (1872 – 1929) and his outstanding Ballet Russes including a black and white number designed by Henri MATISSE France 1869 – 1954 and manufactured by Marie MUELLE France costumier.
Queen Anne Craftsman Bungalow Prairie School French Eclectic Mission Revival Spanish Revival Italian Renaissance Colonial Revival Colonial Cape Cod American Foursquare Dutch Colonial Revival Tudor & English Cottage International Minimal Traditional Moderne/Deco Ranch Split Level
Modernism is a term the art and design community of our contemporary western world has adopted to describe a diverse range of architectural and interior decorative styles, as well as applied and graphic arts that were created between approximately 1880 and 1940 on an international scale.
Windows, frequently using glass block, wrapped around the curve. Alternately, windows at corners met with minimal framing to create an illusion of a window-wrapped corner. New window styles emphasized horizontal lines by stacking rectangular lights in a metal sash.
The style’s beginnings were all about simplifying form and fitting it to suit function. Its characteristics become evident in architectural elements used in the design of buildings from around the 1880’s onward and, in objet d’art produced from as early as 1906.
Modernism is a term the art community has adopted in recent years to describe the many and diverse styles of art and design created between 1880 and 1940. There was so much going on all at once.
Materializing out of the societal revolution of the sixties, where flower power was all pervasive, the environment and its conservation is now of global concern. Recycling as much as we can from the past is a positive step and way of moving forward.
Josef Hoffman was one of those rare individuals, who could turn his hand to designing in many mediums. The pliant and pleasing style practiced by artists was a veritable box office hit…with handicraft allowed to form a synthesis with interior design and the liberal arts; bringing with it a sense of ‘liberated living.
The Vaudeville Brasserie at Paris was just one of a new wave of glittering, glazed and glorious marble sheathed eating establishments where the art of dining in style was practiced well.
La Tour d’Argent, Paris – Wine, War & The Art of Living Well
To ensure that it happens well, we just have to ensure that it is both fashionable and fun.
They first surfaced in its literature and intellectual ideas and were reflected in the music of composers such as Gustav Mahler (1860 – 1911) and Arnold Schönberg (1874 – 1951). They wanted to abandon established norms at the same time as the citizens of Vienna were seeking to establish essential truths about the body and the mind.
In the 21st century such simplicity of line has universal appeal. Together with nature, economy, quality of materials and fine craftsmanship, simplicity has become the hallmark of a new generation seeking to reflect their own sophisticated approach to issues that affect the future of the whole world.
Wit was an important aspect and so teapots became ocean liners made from new wave materials like plastic, Bakelite and chrome.
Near the top of its facade, which is resolved into the stepped elements now so characteristic of skyscraper Art Deco architecture, there is a group of seated knights.
It was cleverly conceived and stayed so true to its original intent that it adapted well over a long period to constant change.
It exemplified in embryo the major features of the coming new international Art Deco style, of which it was to become one of its great founding monuments.
Macassar ebony and gilt bronze was greatly favoured along with sensational examples of lacquer inspired by Japanese originals.
“Art Deco in France found its American equivalent in the design of the New York skyscrapers of the 1920s. The Chrysler Building … was one of the most accomplished essays in the style.” said architectural historian John Julius Norwich.
At Sydney, Australia a twelve storey building constructed for doctors who, at the time were members of the British Medical Association, is a mini skyscraper with Gothic and Tudor details, including some extraordinary gargoyles.
Designers with an International reputation, such as award winning Thomas Hamel of Residence Australia while keeping in touch with trends, also ensures that there is an underlying current of timeless tradition in his interiors.
The confirmation of ‘design as art’ appeared in the aftermath of an International Exhibition of Arts – The Exposition Des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels. (Art Deco for short), which was held at Paris from April to October in 1925.
General Characteristics of Art Moderne Asymmetrical Flat roof Cubic form with flat, untextured walls in stucco or concrete Simple geometric shapes Little ornamentation Rounded corners Wrap-around windows, often using glass block Metal framed windows arranged in a horizontal band Metal trim around doors and windows Decorative elements in aluminum and steel often applied in horizontal banding as well as railings, and balusters Resources
Art Deco manifested itself emotionally with great zest, colour and playfulness in an age that was all about prospering. It was also about fulfilling a deeply felt need for a style that would not be threatened by change, because as it turned out it was adaptable for almost every culture on the planet. In many world cities you will still find marvellous examples of the Art Deco style lurking gloriously. It was definitely all about a hunger for life and a desire for feeling good about self.
They were that of a latter day Galerie des Glaces reminiscent of Louis XIV and the court at Versailles.
The sumptuous French design styles of around 1910, which managed to survive World War I intact, culminated at Paris in 1925 at the great International Exhibition of the Decorative Arts (Exposition Des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels) – Art Deco for short.
Carefully formed spaces related to the scale, needs and desires of humankind while offering diversity through decorative elements. The new Vienna was struggling to leave behind the conservatism of the past and they eagerly embraced contemporary ideas and change under the influence and leadership of its artists, intellectuals and scientists who were helping to imagine a very different future.
The Art Deco Style was about integrating contemporary living with art, and turning life into art, against those consciously working for the undoing of art, and its purpose was enjoyment.
To each century its art, to art its Freedom’ was the credo of the modernists during that period, which started with the founding of The Vienna Secession, a society of Austrian artists, who staged their first exhibition in March 1898. With an act of youthful idealism, a spirit of sacrifice and displaying a willingness to work hard, they plunged headlong into leading Vienna into a new age of modernity.
Paul Iribe also used the stylized rose, a popular motif championed by the great Spanish painter, sculptor and draughtsman Pablo Picasso himself. The more masculine commode he designed has a swag of stylized flowers, including a rose in the drape at the base, which is very classy.
Tapestry from the Huguenot Tapestry Factory Aubusson in France covered chairs and sofas that were rose red and abloom with floral designs, scattered about the room. Artificial light emanated from five tiered fountains placed in the center of its circular banquettes.
Ivory carving was first established in Dieppe in the sixteenth century. French sculptor Ferdinand Priess had a taste for classical figurines and worked on a series of nude and partly draped Greek goddesses made of bronze and ivory.
Works of art and design we admire have for centuries reflect the evolution of humankind spiritually, socially and culturally. They will continue to work effectively as long as their proportion pleases the eye, their subject challenges the mind, engages the spirit and connects with the soul.
Furniture gained exotic and well figured veneers, ivory inlays and stylised floral motifs. Jaques Ruhlmann (1879 – 1933) was unrivaled in his field in the France of the early 1920’s and declared the salvation of art depended on an elite, and that in the end, everyone would have gained.
TagsArt DecoBMA Building SydneyChrysler BuildingCorbusierCultural DevelopmentCurvesDesign History & Decorative ArtsDesign StylesFlame LeaperHorizontalsInterior DesignInternational StyleLife as ArtParisSkyscrapersSleekVerticalsVisual ArtsWhat is Art Deco
Today these vintage pieces are becoming valued for their beauty, functionality and simplicity of design and style.
Architecture encompassed all shapes; curves that were sleek, streamlined and highlighted by painted lines and the use of stylish new age lettering; verticals soaring upward as skyscrapers surmounted by stepped pyramidal shapes; horizontals that were all at once clean, cool filled with light and space.
The most fashionable traveled on trains and ships glimmering with glass and mirrors and shimmering from the lavish, but stylish application of gold and silver leaf.
Its stylized sunburst motif is one of Art Deco’s most favoured.
As were the public rooms of the Normandie, an ocean liner launched in May 1935.
The term Art Deco, coined first in the 1960’s, was meant to embrace every area of design and the decorative arts of the period 1920-40, including architecture, interiors, furniture, fashion, jewellery, painting, graphics, bookbinding, ceramics, costume, glass, silver, metalware and ceramics.
Furniture shapes of the ‘Art Deco’ period were also grounded in eighteenth century role models.
Is this a new phenomenon, entirely innovative or is everything old really becoming new?
The social ideal “The Art that is Life” was all about its proponents wanting life to be idyllic, simple, self sufficient, practical and in close contact with nature.
In 1905-1 Austrian architect, interior designer and applied artist Josef Hoffman (1870-1956) designed the Palais Stoclet in Brussels for Belgian industrialist Alfred Stoclet and it has been described as a universal, complete, flawless masterpiece of a thousand years of architectural history.
The fashion industry started to burgeon as hemlines rose and women threw off their many petticoats, bobbed their hair and embraced their newly found independence.
Two large koala bears disposed symmetrically are hugging the building, perhaps reminding the doctors inside of their need for compassion in an often unfeeling contemporary world.
Modernism demanded a distinction between interior architecture and decoration. There arose a distinct preference for open planned living and interiors, which were meant to be devoid of applied decoration.
It was the perfect expression of Paris during the 20’s to the 30’s, when it embraced every area of design and the decorative arts, including architecture, interiors, furniture, jewellery, painting and graphics, bookbinding, costume, glass and ceramics.
As well as designing and creating contemporary pieces for clients of Residence Australia, he often uses pieces from the past if they suit the philosophy of what he is creating for his clients.
Art Deco House Style: An Architectural and Interior Design Source Book by Ingrid Cranfield
Art Moderne architecture, though never a dominant style, is found scattered around the country with a larger number of good examples in California and Florida. Art Deco was almost exclusively limited to commercial structures and apartment buildings; very few Deco residences exist.
No wonder then that all this dynamic change fostered the development of the modern art movement and dramatic changes in architecture. Art Deco and its immediate successor, Art Moderne, were two of the fresh architectural styles that emerged from 1920 to 1940.
Two hundred tables and chairs were set amid a shimmering windowless, but air-conditioned hall, again illuminated by the genius sculptor of glass himself, Rene Lalique.
Originally built on a stylish street filled with elegant English Victorian style stone and lace balconied mansions, of which only two remain today, it must have taken the locals some time to come to terms with.
Purchasing modernism in Australia is not always easy, but Diane Pickett of Online Antiques, a member of the AA&ADA is certainly offering some of the most interesting pieces around.
At the 1925 exhibition in Paris exceptional designers and manufactures such as Jacques Ruhlmann, Sue et Mare, Jules Leleu, Andre Groult and Maurice Dufrene collaborated with the artisans and designers from the major Parisian department stores, to create splendid pavilions in which to show off their new contemporary designs.
Those those who inhabited his buildings experienced their reviving spirit. I am not sure however, that he would have wanted space to become a fashion statement of luxury, power and status.
It was filled with sleek sculptures of stylized classical, but modern maidens, exuberant bronze relief panels and modernist lighting fixtures evoking an image of extreme elegance.
In the 1930’s, lured by the romantic classicism of Paris, Americans arrived on great liners and locomotives which had been reduced by graphic artists, to fabulous fashion statements of line, form and colour and images of speed and power.
Glamour star painter Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980) was born into wealth and for a long time lived the life of a bohemian artist, one that was racy, risky and renowned until she retired into the seclusion in Garboesque fashion.
For examples of Art Deco and Moderne architecture, visit New York Art Deco and Moderne Architecture for a collection of images, some of which are vintage NYC postcards.
Its clients during the 20’s and 30’s were wealthy, fashion conscious art lovers. They enjoyed living in luxurious environments, eating out in elegant restaurants and being admired for the couture clothes they wore. They sought to reinforce their avant-garde status by living art.
Modernists, such as Swiss French architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier (1887-1965), ensured that space became a recognised aspect of design.
Austrian architect, interior designer and applied artist Josef Hoffman (1870-1956), who was an elder statesman of the movement, reasserted an ornaments right to exist for its own sake.
The clientele were all wealthy, fashionable art-lovers, who enjoyed living in a luxurious environment and, for the moment.
It wasn’t about what you appeared to be any more, but who you were and ensuring that your words, deeds and actions all aligned.
There is a real bonus today for those collecting furniture, textiles, ceramics, glassware, metalware, clocks, watches, textiles, rugs, jewellery, paintings, posters and sculpture as special pieces from the original Art Deco period.
A strange astonishing edifice the Palais Stoclet might have come from another planet; it was in fact transposed far from the city of its conception to a setting, which is still alien to it.
The Orient Express was the ultimate expression of style, for those wanting to project it.
Not that we should forget the brilliant Scottish architect, designer, water colourist and sculptor Charles Rennie MacIntosh (1868-1928), who was the main exponent of Art Nouveau in the U.K and architect designer, writer and educator an all round genius, Frank Lloyd Wright (1867 – 1959) in America who were really in a class of their own.
It was building art with a touch of wizardry and illusion, playing with effects of materials. It was the global depression that put an end to the art of the skyscraper, just as American architect Frank Lloyd Wright was declaring ‘they are monotonous’ and that ‘dizziness has given place to nausea’.
The floor was a crisp statement of geometric design. The metalwork of mirror, lamp and fixtures of patinated bronze.
Exotic materials such as sharkskin, or shagreen as it became more commonly known, was a favoured material dyed a soft green in imitation of antique Chinese celadon ceramic wares, which looked so at home in Art Deco interiors.
As a style Art Deco is now being recognized as a classic: of renowned excellence, simple, restrained, of such a high quality that is always fashionable and elegant.
Art Deco – A Revolution of Design & Style for the Modern Age
An allegorical mural dominated the Normandie’s Grand Salon whose subject was the history of the sea and navigation. Executed in the Verre eglomise technique, in which panels of plate glass are painted on the reverse, they were also embellished with gold and silver leaf and finally fixed to a canvas backing.
Modern architecture is more about a change in the way humans looked at life and the technological innovations of the 1930s. Technology made it possible for Charles Lindbergh to fly solo across the Atlantic, the radio was changing the speed and way Americans obtained information, and entertainment was to be found at the local cinema with new Hollywood stars like Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo. Wheaties were the new breakfast food. DDT controlled agricultural pests. All things were possible and despite the Depression, most Americans believed that new, scientific solutions were the answer to their every need. New materials were being used for automobiles and airplanes, so it was a natural extension that these materials would be incorporated into cutting edge architecture.
Josef Hoffman became an elder statesman of the movement, reasserting an ornaments right to exist for its own sake.
They concentrated solely on geometry, uninterrupted lines and form.
Stunning glass by art glass workers Rene Lalique and Daum, lighting and wrought-iron fixtures by Edgar Brandt and Charles Schneider, beautiful lacquer and metalwork produced by Jean Dunand and porcelains by the famous ceramic factory at Sevres, were featured in many glamorous interiors.
Internationally, and contemporarily today it is all about a mixture of art, science and technology that is informing fashionable design, art and architecture, especially the construction of buildings, both domestic and commercial that are all about having a care for the environment.
Cabinetmaker designers produced furniture that was both decorative and discreet crafted from quality timbers and inlaid with exotic materials such as ivory or tortoiseshell.
Many were influenced greatly by the louche lifestyle at Paris during the early 1920’s and as the pace of life quickened its protagonists wanted to ward off the threat of a civilization dominated by either industry or technology.
The rapidly expanding ‘middle class’ could now acquire quality goods and many treasured possessions arrived in Australia with the migration of European people following WWII.
Art Deco gathered design elements from as far away as ancient Egypt, adding aspects of every other style since and then reaching forward to the futuristic world of popular American space cowboy Buck Rogers.
It has attained that status because, just like the original classicism of the ancient Greeks and contemporary design, it was based on lines that were clean-cut and pure. Its colours were neutral and subdued or, bountiful, bright and bold.
Its protagonists, according to Modernist author Alastair Duncan, were escaping the’ tyranny of historical styles and a calcified culture’.
Art Deco was the direct expression of that will to power, which only lies behind free competitive enterprise.
In cities around the world local idiosyncratic motifs, unique to each time and place, were incorporated into a building and its architectural detail.
Austrian architectural and urban planning genius of his time Otto Wagner (1841-1918) had a firm commitment to bold innovative modern design. He won a major planning competition in Vienna in 1892 and launched his dictum of form following function that found near perfect expression in the aluminium and glass façade he created in 1902 for the newspaper Die Zeit, which was demolished by 1908.
It was one of the greatest of all design style movements and the first universal style in over 100 years, borrowing from most of the design styles of the past to fashion the future.
He made his debut at the Salon d’Automne of 1913, exhibiting furniture par excellence.
Armand Albert Rateau designed for fashion icon Jeanne Lanvin. Fixtures and fittings in a sleek bathroom became a lavish and exotic essay on flora and fauna. Bird shaped taps. A carved stucco wall panel with a forest scene behind the bath, bathtub and basin of cream Sienna marble.
TagsArt Dec PostersArt DecoArt Deco ArchitectureArt Deco FurnitureArt Deco StyleArt is LifeDie ZeitFashionable & FunJosef HoffmanJoseph OlbrichOld is NewOrient ExpressOtto WagnerResidence AustraliaThe Secession BuildingThomas HamelThomas Hamel Residence AustraliaVienna SecessionWiener Werkstatte
Its very fit out evoked the mystery, romance and period flavour of the time. The dining car was decorated by genius glassmaker Rene Lalique, whose works were considered the height of avante garde?
They are bearing the caduceus, a symbol from classical antiquity, sometimes used as a symbol of medicine on their shields. They are there to remind the building’s occupants about their pledge of fealty to the profession of medicine.
Designed for the young idealists by Joseph Maria Olbrich (1867 – 1908), who was apprenticed to Otto Wagner, in what was a brief life and brilliant career, Olbrich left his mark with this splendid building that he called ‘a cathedral for art’.
In New York many fine examples of the distinctive Art Deco style in skyscraper architecture, which still punctuate the city skyline including the mighty Empire State building. It was completed in 1931 and surpassed the Chrysler building’s height within eleven months of its being completed, although it has retained the record of being the world’s tallest steel-supported brick building. Its distinctive radiating terraced arched roofline is clad in a non-rusting steel.
Art Deco Interiors: Decoration and Design Classics of the 1920s and 1930s by Patricia Bayer
Stoclet ‘wanted a large house, he loved the arts and gave us an entirely free hand’ said Hoffman. Under Hoffman’s direction, the Palais Stoclet in Brussels (begun 1905) became the extreme statement of Viennese avant-garde design.
At the turn of the twentieth century the ‘waltz’ city of Vienna (Wien) in Austria gave birth to new stylistic attitudes in both art and design.
The lives of women were enhanced by the wearing of classy couture clothes, by such as Paul Poiret, whose gowns reflected their all new avant-garde status.
Technical innovation was promoted by world exhibitions, which were harbingers of ecological building. New materials and new methods of construction led the way to transparency and lightness of construction.
Art Deco was a style of ornamentation using low-relief stylized graphics and applied motifs ranging from florals to geometrics and preceded the Art Moderne style. Buildings were often distinguished by pronounced ascending vertical elements and stepped roof lines. the Between the setback styling of many skyscrapers and and generously applied ornamentation, the resulting style was often referred to as “Wedding Cake” style.
By contrast, Art Moderne buildings are asymmetrical and essentially cubic, often with rounded corners. The effect was streamlined like many of the industrial designs of the 1930s. Often two walls meet in a curve rather than a squared corner. Walls were typically white stucco with a flat finish. Decorative detail was minimized, relying instead on strong horizontal elements like metal banding and coping at the roof line and clean metal balustrades to impart fresh, contemporary character. Unlike Art Deco, Moderne is simple, unadorned, and horizontal.