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Article

Michèle Lavallée

[Fr.: ‘new art’]

Decorative style of the late 19th century and the early 20th that flourished principally in Europe and the USA. Although it influenced painting and sculpture, its chief manifestations were in architecture and the decorative and graphic arts, the aspects on which this survey concentrates. It is characterized by sinuous, asymmetrical lines based on organic forms; in a broader sense it encompasses the geometrical and more abstract patterns and rhythms that were evolved as part of the general reaction to 19th-century historicism. There are wide variations in the style according to where it appeared and the materials that were employed.

Art Nouveau has been held to have had its beginnings in 1894 or 1895. A more appropriate date would be 1884, the year the progressive group Les XX was founded in Belgium, and the term was used in the periodical that supported it, Art Moderne: ‘we are believers in Art Nouveau’. The origin of the name is usually attributed to ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born February 1903, in Tunis; died 24 January 1978, in Aix-en-Provence.

Painter, architect, decorative designer, designer, poster artist. Wall decorations, stage costumes and sets, furniture, advertising art.

Art et Lumière.

Félix Tahar Marie Aublet was the son of the Orientalist painter Albert Aublet. He was brought up both in Neuilly, France, and in a Moorish palace in Tunis, where the family spent six months of the year. His second forename, Tahar, means 'blessed one' in Arabic. In ...

Article

German, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 14 April 1868, in Hamburg; died 27 February 1940, in Berlin.

Painter, draughtsman, engraver, architect, designer, decorative artist, graphic designer. Posters, furniture, wallpaper, carpets, glassware, ceramics, table services, jewellery, silverwork, objets d'art, typefaces.

Jugendstil, functional school.

Die Sieben (Group of Seven), Deutscher Werkbund...

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA.

Born 15 March 1883, in Stuttgart; died 29 May 1972, in New York.

Painter, sculptor, graphic designer, poster artist, illustrator, architect, designer, decorative artist. Designs for carpets, advertising art, furniture, lamps, wallpaper.

Jugendstil.

Deutscher Werkbund.

Lucian Bernhard studied painting at the Kunstakademie in Munich, but taught himself design. He was active in Berlin. In ...

Article

Céelle  

French, 20th century, female.

Born 25 August 1929, in Paris.

Painter, engraver, draughtswoman (including ink), watercolourist, graphic designer. Scenes with figures, landscapes, urban landscapes, architectural views, seascapes, boats, still-lifes, cats, flowers. Wall decorations, designs for tapestries.

Céelle studied at the École des Arts Décoratifs and the École Estienne in Paris. She worked in advertising as a graphic artist. Her work as a graphic artist is evident in her acuity of line, and the rigour of her composition. She generally paints in greys and browns, although she has occasionally surprised with her subtle colours, especially in the years ...

Article

Israeli, 20th century, male.

Active from 1948 active in Israel.

Born 16 December 1908, in Bucharest.

Painter, engraver, poster artist, graphic designer, decorative designer. Designs for tapestries, and stained glass windows.

He was an architecture student at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he later studied painting at the Scandinavian Academy and at the Académie Julian ...

Article

revised by Margaret Barlow

(b Blue Earth, MN, Nov 23, 1894; d Vero Beach, FL, April 20, 1989).

American interior and industrial designer. Deskey gained a degree in architecture and studied painting before working in advertising. From 1922 to 1924 he was head of the art department at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA. In 1921 and 1925 he made trips to Paris, where he attended the Ecole de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Colarossi, before returning to New York in 1926 as a champion of modern art and design. In 1926–7 he created the city’s first modern window displays for the Franklin Simon and Saks Fifth Avenue department stores. In 1927 he was joined by the designer Philip Vollmer, and the partnership became Deskey–Vollmer, Inc. (to c. 1929). Deskey expanded into designing interiors, furniture, lamps, and textiles, becoming a pioneer of the Style moderne (as Art Deco was known in America). His earliest model for the interior of an apartment was shown at the American Designers’ Gallery, New York, in ...

Article

(b Kiskorpád, June 3, 1884; d Budapest, Nov 26, 1948).

Hungarian architect, interior and furniture designer, and graphic artist. He studied at the Budapest Imperial Joseph College (diploma 1906) and joined the Fiatalok (‘Young ones’) group, which travelled around Transylvania and Hungary studying vernacular architecture. Dominating his early designs (e.g. the fantasy house ‘Lapis Refugii’, 1908) is a luxuriant Secessionist style relying on Hungarian folk-art motifs. After a study trip to Paris (1909–10) he worked at Béla Lajta’s architectural studio in Budapest (1910–13), designing the interior of the Rózsavőlgyi music store in Szervita Square (1911–12; destr. 1961). The interior space was separated by transparent, vertical screens, while the carved-wood ornamentation was in a stylized version of Biedermeier. In 1913 Kozma organized the Budapest Workshop on the same lines as the Wiener Werkstätte, to produce furniture, domestic textiles and utility goods, and designs for entire apartment and office spaces (see Hungary, Republic of §V 4....

Article

Russian, 20th century, male.

Born 1893, in Sebastopol; died 1965, in Moscow.

Poster artist, illustrator, decorative artist.

Aleksei Levin was a student at the school of painting, sculpture and architecture in Moscow. He created various typefaces He participated in various collective exhibitions from 1928 onwards....

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Born 16 May 1872, in Münster; died 5 April 1943, in Baierbrunn (Upper Bavaria), in Munich according to other sources.

Architect, painter, draughtsman, illustrator, engraver, sculptor, interior designer, graphic designer. Portraits, landscapes with figures, landscapes, portraits. Stage sets, designs (furniture).

Jugendstil, Art Deco...

Article

British, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 30 March 1866, in St Andrews; died 1941, in London.

Painter (including gouache), engraver, illustrator, poster artist. Figures, portraits, genre scenes, interiors, architectural views. Theatre decoration, stage sets.

James Ferrier Pryde studied at the Royal Scottish Academy, and later at the Académie Julian, Paris, under Bouguereau. He was a member of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers. Having been an actor, he also designed posters for Henry Irving. He collaborated with his brother-in-law, Sir William Nicholson, under the name of the ...

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Born 22 March 1875, in London; died 1963.

Painter, illustrator, poster artist, decorative artist. Cityscapes, architectural views, scenes with figures.

Fred Taylor studied at the Académie Julian in Paris and Goldsmiths College in London. He became one of Britain's foremost poster artists and received regular commissions from London Transport, LNER and shipping companies from the turn of the century until the 1940s. He also worked as an illustrator and decorative artist, notably designing decorative schemes for the former Underwriter's Room at Lloyds of London, and murals for Austin Reed's red laquer room in ...

Article

Paul Louis Bentel

(b Vienna, 1872; d New York, July 10, 1933).

American architect, stage designer, interior designer and illustrator of Austrian birth. He studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna under Karl Hasenauer. Urban first received recognition as an architect in the USA in 1904 when his design for the interior of the Austrian Pavilion at the World’s Fair in St Louis, MO, was awarded a Gold Medal. He subsequently established himself in Europe as a stage designer; in 1911 he emigrated to the USA to assume a position as set designer with the Boston Opera Company.

After the completion of the Ziegfield Theater (1922), New York, Urban solidified his reputation as an architect with unexecuted proposals for several large theatres. For the Metropolitan Opera House, intended as the focal point of the first schemes for the Rockefeller Center (1926–8), he proposed a semi-circular seating arrangement, to which he added galleries that projected from the proscenium into the seating area to break down the separation between audience and stage. In ...

Article

Margaret Barlow

Italian designers, active in the USA. Massimo Vignelli (b Milan, 10 Jan 1931; d New York, 27 May 2014) attended the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan (1948–50); the Politecnico, Milan (1950–53); and the School of Architecture, University of Venice (1953–7). He chiefly worked on product and graphic design and corporate identity programmes. In the mid-1950s, while still a student, he designed a series of lighting fixtures for the Venini S.p.A. of Murano, most notably the ‘Fungo’ table lamp (1955; e.g. New York, Cooper-Hewitt Mus.), an original concept in striped glass in which the swelling lampshade and conical base form an integrated unit.

Between 1957 and 1960 he travelled and studied in the USA. In 1957 he married Lella [Elena] Vignelli [née Valle] (b Udine, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, 1936). She studied at the School of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (...