Art Nouveau: 1890-1914
Art nouveau embraced massive works of architecture and delicate pieces of jewelry, images of eerie seductresses and sinuous plant forms as well as flowing abstract shapes. The style transformed the decorative arts of many countries at a moment when Western culture believed itself to be on the brink of enormous change. Being ultramodern in the 1890s meant moving away from classical standards of beauty to create a sophisticated blend of nature and artifice. It also meant finding fresh inspiration in art history (Gothic architectural ornament, the airy curlicues of rococo art), non-European cultures (flat patterning in Japanese woodcuts, whiplash curves in Islamic art), or native folk art traditions. Paul Greenhalgh is President of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. He was previously Head of Research at the V&A. In April 2000 he curated the exhibition Art Nouveau 1890-1914 at the V&A, and later in Washington and Tokyo. His publications include Ephemeral Values (1988), Modernism in Design (1990), and Quotation and Sources from Design and the Decorative Arts 1800 - 1900 (1993). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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