Art Déco 1920-1939

The Art Deco Style takes its name from the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts which was held in Paris in 1925. Whereas Art Nouveau favours undulating and detailed shapes, the Art Deco has simple and mainly geometric shapes. The straight angle takes the lead and as a reaction, plain lines and upright shapes – inspired by Cubist painting and octogonally structured concrete architecture emerge;

This artistic trend was a great influence on architecture and design, and a real explosion in several fields of Art occured until the advent of mass production. The production of pieces of furniture and objets d’art shows a search for luxury and perfection; the shapes remain classical and still refer to earlier styles but the Cubist art will lead to the simplification of shapes. The inlaying of fine strips, of ivory, of mother-of-pearl or of metal is very much prized. The figures are stylised and the motives repeated. Wood species such as lemon tree, mahogany and rosewood are in great demand and the contrasts between light and dark species are a must. These are the components of what is known as Modernism.

Eileen Gray, Ruhlmann, Le Corbusier, Leleu, Dunand are the main artists associated with this period.