What is Art Deco?

Art deco is an artistic movement that prevailed in architecture, art, graphic design, interior design and industrial design between 1920 and 1939.

My portrait (Self-portrait in the green Bugatti), Tamara Lempicka, 1929

Art deco was characterized by the use of precisely delineated geometric figures and the use of strong and striking colors.

The movement emerges as a way to print optimism after the depression of World War I. Art deco sought guidance towards the future by adopting modern ideas as a celebration towards progress.

The art deco style had influences from the avant-garde currents that preceded it as Cubism and Futurism, but it differs from being loaded with motifs from ancient cultures such as, for example, Egyptian, Asian and Mesopotamian. In this sense, the art deco is considered the first global decorative style.

Some of the representatives of the art deco artistic trend are: Tamara de Lempicka, Jean Dupas, Erté and Paul Poiret. Examples in architecture we can find the famous Chrysler building and the Rockefeller Center in New York, United States.

In Mexico you can also find buildings of this style, such as the Museum of Popular Art (MAP) of the architect Vicente Mendiola and the Sears building in Mexico City.

Art deco, art nouveau and Bauhaus

Many times art deco designs are confused with those of art nouveau or the Bauhaus movement but it is possible to differentiate them taking into account the materials used and the utilitarian part of the object.

For example, art deco, to evoke modern ideas, uses industrial materials, which contrasts with the use of organic materials used in art nouveau.

It also differs from the Bauhaus movement by its merely decorative function, with extravagant and luxurious designs, contrasting with the simplicity and utilitarianism of Bauhaus to create efficient objects for modern life.