Art Term

Art deco

Art deco is a design style from the 1920s and 1930s in furniture, decorative arts and architecture characterised by its geometric character

Eric Gill, ‘The East Wind’ 1929
Eric Gill
The East Wind 1929
Tate

Named after the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts held in Paris in 1925, art deco can be seen as successor to and a reaction against art nouveau. Seen in furniture, pottery, textiles, jewellery, glass etc. it was also a notable style of cinema and hotel architecture.

Its chief difference from art nouveau is the influence of cubism which gives art deco design generally a more fragmented, geometric character. However, imagery based on plant forms, and sinuous curves remained in some art deco design, for example that of Clarice Cliff in Britain. Art deco washighly varied in its influences, taking inspiration from ancient Egyptian art, Aztec and other ancient Central American art, as well as from the design of modern ships, trains and motor cars. It also drew on the modern architecture and design of the Bauhaus, and of architects such as Le Corbusier and Mies van de Rohe.

related terms and concepts

Art Term

Art nouveau

Art nouveau is an international style in architecture and design that emerged in the 1890s and is characterised by sinuous ...

Art Term

Cubism

Cubism was a revolutionary new approach to representing reality invented in around 1907–08 by artists Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque ...

Art Term

Bauhaus

Bauhaus was a revolutionary school of art, architecture and design established by Walter Gropius at Weimar in Germany in 1919

selected artists in the collection

selected artworks in the collection