ART DECO ILLUSTRATION NEW VERSION HD

ART DECO ILLUSTRATION NEW VERSION HD

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Language: English

Type: Human

Number of phrases: 139

Number of words: 1919

Number of symbols: 8733

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00:19
Towards the end of the19th century  the sinuous stylings of Art Nouveau   blossomed throughout Europe. It was intended to be an aesthetic resistance to  an increasingly mechanised and hard- edged world. But resistance was of course futile  and art nouveau blossomed only briefly. And by the early years of the 20th  century progress and the machine age   had inevitably rolled right over it. What followed soon after was not only an  acceptance of change and technological progress   but an endorsement and celebration  of this brave new world. At the time it was simply and  accurately called the Modern Style. We now call it Art Deco. In 1925 Paris hosted the International Exhibition   of Modern Decorative and Industrial  Arts from which Art Deco takes its name. And it's probably for that reason that we  think of it as an essentially 20s phenomenon. But like a lot of accepted wisdom  this simply isn't accurate. The foundations of Modernism in design and  illustration were being laid even before 1910.
01:32
This image is by Austrian artist, typographer and  illustrator Julius Klinger and it dates from 1908. He was one of a trio of Germanic illustrators  who rejected the fanciful ornate tendencies   of the recent past and revolutionised the very  concept of commercial image making with a body of   work which effortlessly demonstrated an ability to  get to the abstract heart of the subject at hand. And Klinger in particular was able to demonstrate  not only the highest level of aesthetic appeal   but also wit and humanity in all that he produced. Similarly accomplished in a wide range of  creative design fields the German Lucian   Bernhard also pushed at how far you could go  in terms of abstraction and still make sense. And fellow german Ludwig Hohlwein  had much in common with Bernhard   but his was a more conventionally  human and less geometric style. All 3 of them made radical pioneering  use of large areas of flat colour,   bold patterns and non-representational  settings and encouraged others to follow suit.
02:45
But it wasn't until after  the Great War ended in 1918   that the Deco mindset really  started to gather momentum. Fashion and lifestyle magazines such as Vogue had   begun to appear and flourish  in the late 19th century. And although superficial in content they were   a clear reflection of the age  in which they were published. And by the 20s their covers  and pages had succumbed to   the altogether more angular look of Art Deco. Vogue was only one of many in the United States   and Europe to embrace this  most fashionable of styles. The French of course were heavily  invested in the concept of fashion,   with Paris as the epicentre of  all that was chic and glamorous. This is clearly visible in the editorial  illustration produced at the time. George Barbier was an illustrator who  created a large volume of highly stylised   fashion and lifestyle figure work which harked   back to the kind of images found  on ancient Greek urns and vases. And Russian-born Romain de Tirtoff  - better known simply as Erté - was   equally if not more in demand  for his languidly posed females.
04:00
Such was his international popularity that  before long his costume and set design work   would be enlisted in the making  of numerous Hollywood productions. But in addition to this more formal and  somewhat emotionally cold work there were   some illustrators determined to show that Deco  wasn't entirely devoid of heart and humour. In the States John Held Jr. succeeded in applying   the geometrical flat precision  of Deco to his magazine work. He was particularly adept at poking  gentle fun at the bright young things   who populated the more fashionable  venues of the Jazz Age. And the exceptionally distinctive but lesser  known Brazilian designer and cartoonist   José Carlos showed a determination to not  take life quite as seriously as some others. His cover work for the magazine Para Todos  effortlessly demonstrated that Art Deco   could be simultaneously stylish and entertaining. There was also Italian artist  and designer Fortunato Depero   who also occasionally dabbled in magazine  illustration, and although not conventionally  
05:12
comic his radically geometric almost tribal  images do possess an engagingly absurd humour. And on this lighter note we move  effortlessly into sheet music cover art. This was a globally popular phenomenon  of the Deco years and following decades. Buying the sheet music of the popular  tunes heard on radio and in dancehalls   would enable both amateurs and professionals to  play these tunes at home or in bars and pubs. And music being an essentially  emotional and romantic art form   their covers were invariably  illustrated to enhance their appeal. Even the yet to be successful Surrealist painter  René Magritte knocked a few out to pay the rent. Although Swedish by birth, Einar Nerman  worked in London, New York and Paris,   and his lighthearted but extreme  and aesthetically remarkable work   graced many covers with a trademark  elegance, graphic simplicity and good humour. The illustration of book covers  was not as widespread as it   is today - the paperback book  had yet to make an appearance.
06:24
But nevertheless the extent of  the influence of Deco can be   clearly seen on many of the covers from the time. And designer and illustrator Edward  McKnight Kauffer was one of the first   to realise the potential of the book cover as  a platform for promoting his own visual agenda. But however pervasive Art Deco was it's fair  to say it struggled to have much impact on   children's illustration, which generally  stayed staunchly traditional and naturalistic. There were occasional  exceptions such as Joyce Mercer,   who applied a decidedly spiky and angular  aesthetic to her fantasy illustrations,   and a particularly innovative  approach to her colour work. And in America Dorothy  Lathrop's children's stories   harnessed the languid look of the Parisian  fashion brigade with some success. But easily the most radical and  influential children's illustrator   was Russian Vladimir Lebedev. He was also an artist and designer, but  in this arena he challenged prevailing   wisdom about what children like and  respond to with a series of books  
07:33
which explored geometry and flat colour with  remarkably expressive uncompromising results. And so we come to the most enduring  legacy of the Art Deco style - The Poster. In a world without T.V. posters  were by far the most effective way   to promote, publicise and sell your  product or service to the public. Unlike the psychological complexity of  modern advertising in the 20s and the 30s it   was considered enough to simply show whatever  you were selling as attractively as possible. So from the most humble of  everyday consumer products   through to luxury items, must have accessories and  motor cars, somebody somewhere had illustrated it. And in any city or town in most of the world   you were never more than a  few feet away from a poster. And there was one particular  aspect of 20th century living   which bordered on obsession and dominated  urban wall space in Europe and America. By the 20s travel was more affordable  and quicker than ever before and even the  
08:42
working classes could travel by train to the  seaside or visit other parts of the country. British Rail commissioned  vast amounts of illustration   and Frank Newbould is probably the best  known of the travel poster illustrators. His work portrayed landscapes both home and abroad   as enchanted places using an unrealistic  palette of almost psychedelic colours. But he was by no means the only one. Tom Purvis in particular could lay claim to  being every bit as daring in his use of colour. Both had picked up on Ludwig Hohlwein's technique  of reducing the elements of their illustration to   flat posterised colour, and dramatic unexpected  composition to grab the viewers attention. But where Hohlwein had been  all about the human element   their work was much more about  landscape and the environment. Far less lyrical were the posters of Edward  McKnight Kauffer, whose book work we saw earlier. His images for the London Underground went way  beyond what Newbould and Purvis were doing in   terms of abstraction, and were heavily influenced  by the jagged aesthetic of Futurist art.  
09:57
Another remarkable and extreme posterist of the  period was Belgian Leo Marfurt, whose travel   posters reduced even the human element to robotic  shapes enslaved to his angular compositions. And in France the more graceful  poster work of Roger Broders   captured the elegant and more exotic  appeal of France’s Côte d'Azur resorts. But whether it was luxury  travel or something more mundane   everything was imbued with  the most stylish associations   in the remarkable work of Adolphe Mouron, better  known by his professional name A. M. Cassandre. By far the most significant and enduringly  influential of all Deco posterists he began   his career in 1924 and immediately achieved  wide praise for this furniture shop poster. Cassandre's overnight success seems to  be due to his ability to have absorbed   and synthesised everything that had gone before  and refine it to new levels of aesthetic appeal. There are all the trademark signifiers  of modernism and Art Deco in his work  
11:09
from a clear cubist influence  and a love of the abstract,   to remarkably assured composition and  tasteful use of unexpected colour. But he had other influences too  - Surrealism crept in on occasion   and once in a while a very dry  humour and cartoon sensibility. And just as Art Deco had actually begun  before the 20s it ran on beyond the 30s and   continued to be a dominant aspect of illustration  throughout the Second World War and into the 50s. And later generations of illustrators found  the art deco principles too hard to resist Art Deco may now be just one of any  number of styles that people use   in what we now call the Postmodern Age. But it took no time at all to find these  examples of contemporary illustration   which either deliberately mimic  the real thing or at the very least   owe an obvious debt to what may well prove to  be the most enduring of all illustration styles.

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