Studio 2D | Happy New Year, Art Nouveau Style
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Happy New Year, Art Nouveau Style

Happy New Year, Art Nouveau Style

Art Nouveau is inspired by nature and organic forms. The dynamic and undulating lines of Art Nouveau can be found in architecture, furniture, household products, fashion, and graphic design. It bridged fine and commercial art, flourishing throughout Europe from the 1890s through 1910.

Art Nouveau is primarily a decorative style without philosophical underpinnings. The curvilinear forms were not tied to realistic representation or formal structure. Yet the pursuit of pure beauty in itself had meaning and was a response to the ugliness of mass-production.

In Art Nouveau you will see themes of birth, growth, life, and decay. Favorite subject matter includes plants, birds, flowers, women, and insects. Designs tend to be abstract, two-dimensional, and high-contrast. Art Nouveau objects took the form of their decorative lines. Buildings in this style seem to have grown in place rather than having been built.

In America, Art Nouveau’s influence can be seen in furniture, ceramics, ironwork, and the glasswork of Louis Comfort Tiffany. The architects Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright both used arabesque ornamentation in many of their designs. In the 1960s, the Art Nouveau aesthetic was revived in the psychedelic movement.


The Kiss by Gustav Klimt.


Detail from a Tiffany lamp.

Mucha Moet & Chandon

Alphonse Mucha designed so many posters in this style that his name became almost synonymous with Art Nouveau.


This Victor Horta Staircase exemplifies the organic lines of the Art Nouveau movement.


An Art Nouveau inspired entrance is on this Louis Sullivan building in Chicago (formerly Carson Pirie Scott).


Chair by Henry van de Velde.


Echos of Art Nouveau can be seen in this psychedelic poster from the 1960s.

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