reflection 4: ART NOVEAU

April 20, 2018 Art

Nouveau was home to some of the most influential artist of our modern era such as Mucha, Grasset, Cheret and Toulouse Lautrec. Its movement was rooted in organic, flowing lines and stylizing the human form. For example, Grasset can be identified by his flowing lines in his character’s hair while Cheret had “cherettes”, cheerful women who enjoyed life, smiling and joyful on all mediums they were represented on. Mucha’s style was flowing and graceful with soft colors and organic lines while Toulouse Lautrec’s style was sketchier in representation.

The idea behind Art Nouveau was to bridge the gap between fine and applied arts. Earlier creators believed in the past design was to ornamental and should be designed with its form in mind rather than reverse. Similar to the Arts and Crafts movement, Art Nouveau was a retaliation to designs from the Industrial Revolution. Their influence was said to be Japanese woodblock prints that grew in popularity within Europe. Toulouse-Lautrec’s piece from 1891 of the Moulin Rouge is said to be credited with the expansion of the style, though ten years earlier artist had been moving towards Art Nouveau.

Although Art Nouveau was similar to the Arts and Crafts Movement, one of the main pioneers- William Morris thought works such as the ones of Beardsley were an abomination to art itself. Beardsley work often depicted erotic, macabre subjects. His line work was precise, graceful and gravely offended William Morris who believed that above all art should be beautiful. His style was like a twisted version of Japanese’s Ukiy-o style. Because of Art Nouveau more and more posters were produced in this style until about 1910 when the style of art deco- a very geometrical style grew in popularity. No longer were there graceful lines and illustrative stylization.

Art Deco was based on functionality rather than beauty. They used new perspectives and this style thrived most when promotion items such as machinery, boats, or means of transportation. This Industrialization of art had never been done before and this style purely defines the 1920s well. Both Art Deco and Art Nouveau are pivotal points in graphics design history. The return and departure to some styles is the reason why graphic designhas the impact it has today, especially in the way products are marketed and sold to consumers- and what perspectives they use to define the form of said objects. Rather than just selling the product, they’re selling it’s function and the experience it gives the consumer. A