4 May until 21 October 2018
Art Deco
Graphic Design from Paris

The term Art Deco is used to describe a style of decorative art popular between the heyday of Art Nouveau and the emergence of the International Style in the 1950s, roughly contemporaneous with the radical forms of avant-garde artistic expression exemplified by De Stijl, the Russian avant-garde, and the Bauhaus. The origins can be traced to Paris circa 1910. After 1930, Art Deco diverged in various directions. It was subsumed by the pompous neoclassicism of the 1930s, for example in Fascist architecture in Italy, and it survived in the USA until the 1950s in bakelite radios and plastic handbags. The name was derived from the 1925 world exhibition of applied arts in Paris: Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes. The very words “Art Deco” summon images of opulent curved forms, exquisite furniture, costly fabrics, and sophisticated garments – and only rarely of graphic art. And yet the printed image witnessed some remarkable achievements during this period. In recent years, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) has acquired a collection of Parisian prints mainly from the 1920s that is unparalleled anywhere in Germany. From a total of over 700 sheets, some 150 were on view at the show, representing in equal measure posters, graphics (pochoir prints and lithographs), and advertisements printed chiefly in the magazines Vogue and L’Illustration. It may be surprising to see advertising placed on equal footing here with other graphic artworks, but these ads were often designed by leading artists and reflect the major themes of the times: the automobile, which reached an aesthetic culmination circa 1930; the French chanson, which rose to prominence in the 1920s; the Parisian haute couture created during this era; and, last but not least, dance and cabaret, which played an important role especially in Paris.

Artists: George Barbier, Jean Carlu, AM. Cassandre, Paul Colin, Jean-Gabriel Domergue, Studio Dorland, Maurice Dufrène, Michel Dufet, Jean Dupas, Charles Gesmar, Raymond Gid, Natalja Gontscharowa, Agentur Havas, Auguste Her-bin, Paul Iribe, Alexis Kow, André Lambert, Michail Larionow, Fernand Léger, Georges Lepape, Charles Loupot, André Édouard Marty, René Vincent, Gerda Wegener u.v.m.

Catalogue: "Art Déco. Grafikdesign aus Paris" (only available in German), published by Edition Braus, Berlin, edited by Sabine Schulze and Jürgen Döring, 24 x 28 cm, 128 pages, ca. 150 illustrations, soft cover, ISBN 978-3-86228-183-1, 24,95 Euro (D), 25,70 Euro (A)

The exhibition was funded by the Justus Brinckmann Gesellschaft.

Ill.: Paul Iribe (1883-1935), Illustration of Les Robes des Paul Poiret, 1908, etching and pochoir print, 31 x 27,7 cm, photo: Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg