Art Deco is an art and design movement based around the work of designers, artists and architects during the 1920s and 30s.
It combined an aesthetic, decorative approach to modernism with vibrant colours, geometric patterns and new production materials. The Art Deco style was influenced by Art Nouveau, modernist architecture, Cubism and abstract art, Futurism, Russian Constructivism, Ancient Egyptian artefacts, jazz and Hollywood films, and originated in Paris (named after the ‘Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs’ show of 1925).
Many designs and images from the 1930s also feature stylised depictions of the emerging modern world such as skyscrapers, aeroplanes, cars and cruise liners. The materials used were often chosen for their contrasts, such as highly-polished chrome, glass, black lacquer and soft furs and velvets. Art Deco was an opulent style which celebrated luxury, fashion and fun, and is often seen as a reaction to the austerity felt after theFirst World War.
Important artists and designers
Important artists of the time include Tamara de Lempicka, Sonia Delaunay, Jean Dupas, Ruth Reeves and Paul Klee. Important designers of the time include Clarice Cliff, René Lalique, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann.