[1] Art Deco Architecture: Chrysler Building

The Art Deco aesthetic originating in France around the 1920s used sleek geometries with man made materials to symbolize wealth, glamour, and technological progress. Art Deco was most popular in the 1920s and 1930s between the first and second world wars. Although it was relevant beforehand the aesthetic increased in popularity after the 1925 International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in France. Art Deco is a classic aesthetic synonymous with the early 20th century.

[2] Art Deco Architecture: Empire State Building

In its prime Art Deco was prolific in many art mediums including architecture, fashion, sculpture, graphic art, and jewelry design. Art Deco still lives on in our cities with iconic landmarks designed using the aesthetic. Both the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building located in New York City embody the Art Deco aesthetic. Another iconic structure which exhibits the aesthetic is the Griffith Observatory overlooking Los Angeles.

The Chrysler Building was designed by architect William Van Alen and was constructed in 1930. At the time it stood as the tallest building in the world. Van Alen’s use of geometry and stainless steel exterior expresses Art Deco’s style of glamour and technological advancement.

Around the same time the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon began work designing what is now one of the most recognizable buildings in the world, The Empire State Building. In 1931 the Empire State Building was constructed and took the title as the tallest building in the world. Similar to the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building’s exterior uses sleek uninterrupted geometries along with new man made materials.

[3] Art Deco Relief

Within the Empire State Building Art Deco is displayed in other art disciplines besides architecture. This is shown in figure 3 which depicts a photograph of a Art Deco style relief on a wall within the Empire State Building lobby. Besides the relief’s realistic portrayal of the building itself it also includes long striking metallic beams pointing the viewers focus inward to the building’s spire. The golden color and glimmer of the metal provides a sense of wealth.

[4] Art Deco Painting: Young Lady With Gloves by Tamara de Lempicka

A famous painting of the Art Deco period is Young Lady with Gloves painted by Tamara de Lempicka in 1929. Art Deco which took inspiration from the earlier cubism aesthetic utilizes bold geometries and colors. Tamara de Lempicka also created the painting, Tamara in a Green Bugatti with similar color selection and flowy fabrics.

[5] Photo of Art Deco furniture

In the 1940s with the start of the second world war the Art Deco aesthetic was loosing steam and falling behind newer aesthetics such as modern architecture and the international style. Although these newer styles with their focus on function stood opposed to Art Deco’s glamour and excess, Art Deco lived on by influencing the Streamlined Moderne aesthetic.

In the 1960s Art Deco had a minor comeback with changing social perspectives and influenced the popular Pop Art and Post Modern aesthetics with their bold colors and striking geometries.

[6] Art Deco Architecture: Griffith Observatory

References

Images:

[1] https://travel.usnews.com/New_York_NY/Things_To_Do/Chrysler_Building_18198/

[2] https://travel.usnews.com/New_York_NY/Things_To_Do/Empire_State_Building_18225/

[3] https://www.pinterest.com/pin/567312884282723176/

[4] https://www.kooness.com/posts/magazine/15-iconic-art-deco-artworks

[5] https://magazine.artland.com/art-deco-design-famous-artists-style/

[6] https://www.vogue.com/article/from-the-archives-art-deco-in-vogue

Sources:

  1. https://thecultureprojectblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/paintings-you-should-know-tamara-de-lempickas-young-girl-in-green/
  2. https://artdecostyle.ca/art-deco-style-blog/art-deco-revival
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Deco_architecture_of_New_York_City
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_State_Building
  5. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Chrysler-Building
  6. https://magazine.artland.com/art-deco-design-famous-artists-style/
  7. https://www.britannica.com/art/Art-Deco
  8. https://www.nypl.org/blog/2020/11/09/art-deco-95-years-and-thriving
  9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streamline_Moderne
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Deco
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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Venkata Sanyasi Krishna Vidhan Rallapalli
    January 28, 2024 11:21 pm

    Hi, I found your post on Art Deco very intriguing. Your exploration of Art Deco, spanning its origins, architectural landmarks, and influence on subsequent art movements, is engaging and provides a captivating journey through the aesthetic evolution of the early 20th century. The inclusion of iconic structures and recognition of Art Deco’s impact on later styles adds depth to the narrative, making it an interesting and well-rounded overview. What are your thoughts on the adaptation and evolution of this to changing cultural and artisitic trends over the decades?

    Reply
    • Alex Fitzgerald
      January 30, 2024 9:40 am

      Hey! Art Deco’s evolved into the Streamlined Moderne aesthetic was definitely caused by changing cultural trends and artistic trends. With the start of World War 2 a lot more emphasis was placed on functionality so many of the non “useful” aspects of Art Deco were removed in the Streamlined Moderne aesthetic.

      Reply
  • Garrett Miller
    January 28, 2024 5:05 pm

    Hi Alex! I found your post on Art Deco very interesting. Art Deco always intrigued me with many of its examples being larger than life. The examples you used show how intense Art Deco style is. Do you think Art Deco could make a major comeback today?

    Reply
    • Alex Fitzgerald
      January 30, 2024 9:50 am

      Hey Garrett! I think Art Deco could and is making a minor comeback however I don’t think that it will resurge to where it was in the 1920s and 1930s.

      Reply

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