What if I told you that the biggest fashion houses and magazines have made their way into the industry because of art deco?
You may ask now, What even is art deco?
Well, to be precise, art deco is an art movement that bridged the gap between fashion and art. And it was its artists who led the movement with zeal.
Art deco artists were the ones who presented their ideas in an avant-garde style. Which were limited to grandeur, energy, complexity, motion, and the development of machinery.
As soon as the art world started to adapt what art deco was and how artists were using it to create beautiful artworks, this form rose to fame.
It was in the early 19th century when the artists started discovering art deco, and with time, it flourished until the early 20th century.
With this being said, we can now move on to learning what art deco is all about and how art deco artists paved their way in the art world.
So, without further ado, let’s get right into the blog.
Table of contents
What was the Art Deco Movement?
A question that comes to mind every time I read about one or another art deco artwork or artist is, What is the art deco movement?
It is an art movement that gained notoriety and popularity over time, starting in Paris in 1925.
During the 1920s and 1930s, Art Deco design was very popular.
It was distinguished by its use of synthetic materials and sleek, geometric, or stylized forms.
It is defined on the basis of a few different points that lead to the creation of the same:
- Sleek surface of the wall
- Linear, sharply edged appearance Chevrons, zigzags, and geometric shapes were used to style decorative elements
- Low relief decorative panels
- Stepped or set back front facade
These are the prime characteristics of the movement, and there are many more features that make this art movement unique.
To stay in trends and embark on an art genre that spoke luxury and elegance, art deco artists carried this movement on.
Art deco was often compared to other art movements like art nouveau, modern art, and, at some point, abstract art.
But art deco artists gave a whole different meaning to fashion in art over time and created one of the most decorated forms of art.
Suggested Read: Famous Australian Artists
Is Art Deco Related to Art Nouveau?
Over time, when art deco started gaining popularity, it was often compared with the concepts of art nouveau.
Sooner or later, when the critics dug deeper, they realized that Art Deco and Art Nouveau are two different entities in the art genre.
Both being the most influential and popular art movements of the 20th century, they were ends apart.
Architectural design, graphic arts, fine art, and all other aspects of visual culture are influenced by Art Deco.
Art Deco features sharp angles and geometric shapes, while Art Nouveau emphasizes graceful curves and long lines.
So, it is clear that both art movements worked on a visual aspect but had different influences.
Famous Art Deco Artists
Artists are the ones that help shape any art movement, and basically, they are the backbones of the movement.
Similar to it, the art deco artists were not given enough credit and fame as per their talent, but they were immensely praised for their creations.
Even today, there are many artists and big companies that seek inspiration from the creations of art deco artists.
1. Tamara de Lempicka
Tamara de Lempicka was one of the best known art deco artists.
She was a Polish woman who worked consecutively in France and the United States.
Her unique and vivid art deco style helped her rise to fame as a successful portrait painter.
Tamara was a refugee who, after retirement, worked hard while chasing her passion for art.
Not only this, since a very young age she was interested in art, and it is said that she was heavily inspired by Renaissance art.
Her artwork from her early and late 20s depicts a deep rage for independence for women and also revolves a lot around sexuality.
Tamara’s art subjects were also portrayed as well-styled modern architectural backgrounds that also inculcated the techniques of advertising designs.
Her creations were known for their unique blend, bold elements and vibrant color palette.
Some of her famous works include: Self-Portrait in the Green Bugatti (1929), Young Lady with Gloves (1930), etc.
Also Read: Famous Female Painters
2. Paul Poiret
Paul Poiret is a well-known name in the fashion as well as the art industries.
He was a famous art deco artist who was a fashion designer, and his foundations for the modern fashion industry uplifted the trends of modern dresses.
Not only this, Paul was the founder of the Haute Couture House, one of France’s special organizations that housed designers who mastered the art of customising.
To your surprise, before World War I, it was Paul Poiret who dressed and styled the elites of Paris.
One of the masters of draping, Paul, had his legs dug deep in the industry of fashion and luxury deco.
His illustrations and designs were labelled as Neoclassical and Orientalist patterns of style.
Paul was the one who advocated for the women to release them from corsets and replace them with brassieres.
Paul has many more achievements tucked under his hat, but moreover, he personified deco fashion and established himself as a famous art deco artist.
Some of his famous works include: Evening dress, Fancy dress costume, Manteau D’Auto, etc.
3. Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier, or Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, was one of the most influential art deco artists.
Not only was he a well-known designer, but he was also an architect, painter, urban planner and writer.
Le’s works were known to be a blend of modern planning, functionalism and the proportions of sculpture expressionism.
Even though he was born in Switzerland, he worked, and in 1930, he successfully became a French citizen.
Here’s a fun fact: Corbusier is known as the father of modern architecture.
Not only this, he was one of the prime members of the cohort of the International School of Architecture.
He advocated for the creation of new designs for a lively space that were supposed to be well-organized and airy, as well as have proper ventilation.
Le was invited to India by former Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru to commission the work of the new capital city of Punjab, Chandigarh.
Some of his famous artworks include: Villa Savoye, Unité d’Habitation, Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Haut, etc.
4. Jean Dunand
Master of lacquer, a painter, sculptor, designer and, moreover, a renowned art deco artist.
Jean Dunand was a famous French and Swiss painter who hailed from Switzerland.
Not only this, he was an amazing metal craftsman and interior designer as well, who used eggshells in his lacquer to give texture to his artworks.
Jean was the first western artist to master the art of Urushi when he was working as an apprentice under Japanese artist Seizo Sugawara.
His interest in copper sculpture work was evident when he was 14 years old and studying sculpture in Geneva.
Over the years, he worked as an influential art deco artist and gradually switched to more modern patterns of art deco.
Artworks and furniture pieces that have been created by Jean are now housed at some of the most prestigious art museums, like the Metropolitan Art Museum, etc
Some of his famous works are: Fortissimo, “Ailette” vase , etc.
5. George Barbier
One of the greatest French illustrators of all time, a phenomenal art deco artist and an amazing fashion illustrator, George Barbier.
His designs were so exquisite that they influenced a lot of artists to experiment with their fashion palates.
It was claimed that he blended the use of colors and figures in his illustrations to give them a modern look in terms of the art deco movement.
The technique that he used to finish off his artwork was known as pochoir printing.
It was a way of printing using colors that are vibrant in tone and metallic in appearance.
The Neoclassical literature and the paintings found in ancient Etruscan tombs served as his inspiration for a longer period of time.
George’s artworks define femininity in a very expressive way, unlike the creations of some of the very masculine trends during that era.
Some of his famous works are: Falbalas et Fanfreluches. Almanach des modes, Journal des Dames et des Modes: de modetekenaars, etc.
Also Read: Artists Of Mexico
6. Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann
One of the most important and leading art deco artists was Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, a famous French furniture and interior designer.
His sleek designs of furniture and his modern art deco approach created a swoon over the art world.
Artworks by Ruhlmann were symbols of luxury, elite and elegance.
He was known to pay attention to the intricate details and the geometrical patterns that created a piece of art.
Not only was he skilled at making furniture pieces but was also one of the art deco artists who could design an entire room by balancing materials, colors, etc.
He used luxury materials like ebony and rosewood that helped him serve the elite and establish himself as an art deco artist.
Known for combining classical styles with modern art, some of his famous artworks include: “Tibattant” desk, Corner Cabinet, etc.
The father of art deco, Romain de Tirtoff, aka Erté, was one of the most influential artists and designers who hailed from Russia but settled in France.
He was mostly known for his famous fashion designs and was praised by art critics from all over the world.
Also, as per the sources, he has created more than 240 different covers for various magazines during his lifetime.
Erte has set the standards high for many of the art deco artists as he has created art for various fields.
That includes fashion, jewellery, graphic arts, costume and set design for film, theatre, and opera, and interior decor.
He really hand-crafted his art pieces and then made his way into theater and pop-culture in the 20th century.
This led him to be more diverse and set a benchmark for other art deco artists as well.
His cosmopolitan designs and illustrations made their way to the elite magazines and clubs as well.
Some of his notable works include: Harper’s Bazaar February cover, Symphony in Black, etc.
8. Sonia Delaunay
One of the famous women among the art deco artists who established herself in the art and fashion industries.
Her intricate designs were loudly characterized by bold geometric designs and patterns.
Along with her husband, Robert Delaunay, she co-founded the Orphism art movement.
She was known for extensively using pochoir prints to create luxurious garments and illustrations on fabrics as well.
In 1964, she became the first female artist for whom a retrospective exhibition was specially conducted at the Louvre.
As a matter of interest, Sonia took inspiration from the traditional Russian quilts and then proceeded to embark on them throughout her art journey.
Some of Sonia’s notable works are: Electric prisms, Philomene, Dubonnet, etc.
When each and every day is a way to create something quirky and trendy, art deco artists just get it right.
No matter what the inspiration was, they always made sure to create something so stunning that it became the talk of the art world.
With that being said, I hope you now have an idea of what the art deco art movement was about and who some of the great art deco artists were.
This also reminds me of the fact that art is fluid; it depends on the artist how they mold and shape it.
Art deco artists were the ones who shaped the fashion industry by inculcating the essentials of art in it.
I hope you loved the blog, and I will make sure to come back with more information regarding the art world and art movements.
So, stay tuned and take care, lovely readers.
Some of the famous art deco artists include Georges LePape, Tamara de Lampicka, Paul Poirer, etc.
The decorative art, design, and architectural style known as “Art Deco” originated in Europe, the United States, and other countries during the 1920s and 1930s.
Romain de Tirtoff, aka Erté was the person who created and invented Art Deco. He was a designer who gained a lot of fame over time for his creations.
Art deco has gained popularity as it has turned fashion into a modern day art and re-defined the concept of modern art.