Art Deco was named after the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes made in Paris in 1925; an event that would go on to influence arts all over the world.
The shape revolution
The style known as Art Deco was born in Paris in the 1920s and evolved into a major movement in Europe and in the United States during the 1930s. Its style is focused on sleek geometries and stylized shapes, in addition to the abudant use man-made materials. Art Deco was in deep contrast to the avant-garde art of the period: Deco designs tell us of the change Modernism underwent, turning into fashion and adopting distinctive symbols such as florals motifs, animals, and sunrays; through these, we see the rise of a distinctive kind of anti-traditional elegance that stood in for wealth and sophistication.
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Deco style attempted to create functional objects, enriched with an artistic touch, combining aesthetics with a practical purpose. At its core, Art Deco was a search for beauty in all aspects of life, art and design: a reflection of the rvolutionary coming of the age of technology and machines in everyday life and industrial production, completely substituting crafting methods and artisanship, and its often cold and purely practical results.
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Art Deco thus aimed to create aesthetically pleasing, artistic-looking products that possessed the same qualities of crafted artisan goods, while employing modern machines and technologies to streamline and maximize the production -and consequent availability to everyone. As it is, Streamline Moderne is the American way of naming Art Deco style, a stripped-down, even sleeker e less elaborate than the European Art Deco style, in order to launch it in a much different, much more avant-garde market.
The Chrysler Building
The Chrysler Building is possibly the most important example of Art Decò architecture. It was built using a steel frame filled with masonry artefacts, interspersed with elements of decorative metal cladding; the 31st-floor displayed gargoyles and replicas of the famed 1929 Chrysler radiator cups. In 1929, the American Society for Testing Materials put together an inspection committee to study performances of the materials used in this construction, finding out that the panels were minimally deteriorated in 30 years, proving the importance of steel in Van Alen’s design.