Art Deco

Art Deco in Greater Toronto Area

Also known as Style Moderne, Art Deco is an architectural and decorative movement that became popular shortly after World War I. It was inspired by many other movements of the early 20th century such as Russian Constructivism, Italian Futurism, Orphism, Functionalism, Fauvism and Modernism, and was a direct reaction to the previous standard (Art Nouveau). The movement also took a lot of inspiration from more classical sources such as Egyptian artifacts and pre-modern art.

Art Deco first flourished in Europe in the 1920s and then later spread its influence to North America in the 1930s. The name “Art Deco” was derived from Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris (1925) where the style was exhibited for the first time. This style influenced architecture, art, automobiles, furniture and fashion up until the end of World War II, after which it lost its relevance. Still, Art Deco has grown in popularity once again in the early 1960s and it continues to be a source of inspiration into the 21st Century.

Art Deco is defined by the following characteristics:

  • Geometry and Symmetry: this style utilizes basic shapes and clear lines to create repetitious, bold, and symmetrical patterns.
  • Curves: Art deco inspired pieces often have a streamlined or machine-made look to them. “S” curves or “C” curves are common for this style.
  • Metal: Gold and silver-coloured metals such as chrome, steel, and aluminum (other materials were also used, such as glass and Bakelite).
  • Polish: Glossy finishes

Ultimately, Art Deco represents sleek, anti-traditional elegance that symbolizes wealth and sophistication.

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