Sunday, September 23, 2007

Art Nouveau & Vienna Secession

The Art Nouveau movement and Vienna Secession intersect in the early 20th century . Even though these movements overlapped they were both very different in style and popularity. While items produced in the style of Art Nouveau were organic in shape and detail, items produced during the Vienna Secession were fully geometric in design and pattern. Art Nouveau allowed people to experience and feel design rather than just viewing it.
Emile Galle played a very influencial role in the development of the Art Nouveau movement. Galle looked for inspiration from nature. Also he liked to include symbolism. He wanted the viewers interpretation of the piece to be both from an artistic and psycological stand-point. His glass work set the pace for renewing the world's interest in such artistic pieces. Unlike Art Nouveau the Vienna Secession was lead by a specific group rather than individuals. The Wiener Werkstatte organization was founded in 1903. It's purpose was to bring aesthetic design to Austria. This was achieved through producing everything from furniture to clothing. A common motif seen in these pieces was a series of cuttouts creating a pattern. For example, in Josef Hoffmann's Skyscaper Basket, small squares are cutt out and evenly spaced to add an aesthetic appeal. Without these cuttouts the basket would still serve the same purpose, but it would not be as appealing. Also the use of color was crutial to the final design. In Hoffmann's Gaming Chair a pattern in apparent in the structure of the chair, but is emphasized even more because of the placement of the black squares.
Both Art Nouveau and the Vienna Secession changed the world of aesthetic design and have greatly influenced today's styles. Because of the difference in the two styles which style do you feel was more influencial and still seen today?

10 comments:

Kasey said...

As far as architecture and design are concerned I feel that the Vienna Secession has left a more lasting impression on modern designers, in terms of aesthetics, but not so much in principle. When I think of modern buildings, I think of rectilinear shapes and forms, straight lines, and regular patterns. I feel that western society has come to view these elements as embodying beauty more so than the flowing tangles of curves that are most descriptive of Art Nouveau.
However, in principle, I feel that modern designers share a similar attitude with those of the Art Nouveau. Individuals are advancing and not groups, designers are returning to nature for inspiration, and also for materials, also designers are striving to create the "next great thing" devoid of historical precedents and influences.

Audrey said...

I have never been one to weigh the value of a particular design style. For me all design, even bad design, is significant.
When we look at contemporary design we can see remnants of both styles. Art Nouveau lives on in the smaller scale design of jewelry while the Vienna Secession can be easily found in large-scale architecture. Neither is more influential. Both have their place in the design world. One was perhaps too whimsical one was probably too logical. Design today needs both (Logic and Humor)

estee said...

I feel that modern design has been impacted through both Art Noveau and the Vienna Succession. I agree with Kasey that when it comes to modern building design we seem to have more rectilinear forms, but they may be accented with more organic forms. I think that modern design has been greatly impacted by the use of more natural looking forms and materials.....thank goodness. I think the most impact that both of these era's caused was the simple idea of manipulating any type of form and trying new ideas. I think this is why we see much eclecticism in today's design. Anything goes.....why does there have to be a form to follow?

NBUSHdesign said...

When you asked the question of which style is still seen today, I posed no hesitation in my though that the Vienna Succession is the style of TODAY! Nearly all new construction and remodeling of older construction seen today in the World, and especially in North America, is centered around geometric, hard lined, rigid, structured, composition and form. That is the style people have come to expect of "Modern" designers. Speaking of Modern, what a vague term. How do we define modernity? When does this era begin and where does it end? Are we not far enough removed from the time to see what it will be called in the future, as Megan mentioned in class today? It could be called the 'Linear Block Era' in the future... no one knows.

Humans have felt a need to contain, retrain, manipulate nature since one can remember. We also have this urge to CREATE things. Things not seen in nature, created by a person, are usually 'awe' inspiring. I think this is one of the reasons of the dieing off of the Art Nouveau Movement.

The creation of the Art School Building at Weimar by Van de Velde aided in the passing of the Art Nouveau movement. This building was created by an Art Nouveau designer who strayed into Art Nouveau design with a linear twist. This created a model for others to follow and continue the geometric design.


If you think back to Classical times...there was a predominant structure and disregard of natural forms in the Parthenon and other such buildings. That style has influenced designers for thousands of years. Who's to say that a new style composed of natural forms would be enough to conquer the old styles and reconfigure how we look at design.

The Art Nouveau was a short lived movement that is referenced to the life of fashion by Pile. He says, how long does fashion last? It's constantly changing, and remodeled in the blink of an eye. I believe that this holds true with this new non historic precedents style that emerged from nature. Quick to come, quick to go.

J Kan said...

I would say that Vienna Secession movement is seen more today than Art Nouveau. The Vienna Secession with its fully geometric in design and pattern is more practical in terms of functionality, building planning, and ease of build. The Art Nouveau style is more specialized and is not as accepted by all people, it is a personal taste. However, both must exist to balance the other. There is no perfect style to suit everyone’s taste. Some people like the more geometric style of the Vienna Secession while some people like the more decorative and ornate style of the Art Nouveau. In terms of what we see today the Vienna Secession could be seen as the building itself and the Art Nouveau would be the interior designs that make it less rigid and give it character.

Megan Funk said...

As you look at architecture today, you see buildings that are tall with rows of windows lined up and perfectly arranged. On the interior you will often find a large lobby, filled with light and materials such as metal, glass, and marble. These buildings are clearly a product of the Vienna Secession when architects began to use less of the curvilinear lines and designs of the Art Nouveau style and more geometric and straight lines, as well as less ornamentation. Looking at some of the buildings of the Vienna Secession you will notice features that could easily be seen in a building constructed today. In fact, Otto Wagner’s design for the Austrian Post Office Savings Bank is a great example of this. He used mostly metal and glass in this construction, giving the main banking room a barrel- vaulted ceiling, allowing light into the space. He makes very little use of color and even less of ornamentation. The only decorative details being the exposed heads of bolts and the black and white tile work in the floor. Today you would be hard pressed to find a new building reminiscent of the Art Nouveau style but to find one of the Vienna Secession all you would have to do is visit a large city and look up.

SBSull2 said...

Modern design is special, in that it can encompass as many styles, or as few as it wants. Both the Vienna Secession and Art Nouveau impact the thought of designers today. Straight Lines, rectilinear forms are often thought of to define modern design which obviously adheres more to the Vienna Secession. BUT does modern design not also emphasize organic (Art Nouveau) forms? No one can say exactly what modern design is because we are currently designing it. Learning from all periods and styles, and implementing NEW and INNOVATIVE techniques to create our own unique stamp on design history.

jessica said...

I definitely feel the Vienna Secession is a huge part of today's society. We as a culture have placed what is now called "modern" design on a pedestal. We try to stick to the simplicity of it and find the beauty behind it. It seems that modernism is very closely related to Japanese work. I've always been amazed by Japanese art and style it seems as other cultures such as our own have flip flopped back and forth so many times between styles the Japanese have stayed pretty true to their roots of simplicity and the notion "less is more." Their use of hard lines, geometric shapes, and the use of negative space are all very typical to their style, which is a huge part of modernism.

So back to the topic of Vienna Secession, it is all over our surroundings today with a main focus in cities. But like in the past I feel like we will out grow this style and revive another past movement. It's interesting to think about what the tendencies of style will be like 25 years from now. It's in a way hard to picture moving on to something different since we are so accustom to this "Modern" style now.

Jenna said...

As of lately, I have seen influences of Art Nouveau everywhere. Some of it's many motifs are the arabesque, floral, and animal pattern, that show up on almost every new fabric, accessory, and furniture piece that is created. I have really seen this come to play in the decorative styles that appear in stores that an average person goes into everyday. Whether it's a curvilinear detail on the leg of a table, or curving forms placed around a clock. I feel like it's contemporary enough that people like it, without being too fussy - like that of Victoria periods.

Laurel said...

I think that the Vienna Secession had more influence in the long run and is seen more commonly today. Although I love Art Nouveau and it is one of my favorite styles, I think it was given kind of a bad wrap because sometimes they say it is 'art for art's sake' as if there is no meaning to the decorative, curvilinear elements found in Art Nouveau. However many designers are influencing change in modern design, and moving away from the rigid, strict straight lines of conventional design. Instead of the curvilinear, flowing lines of Art Nouveau we are moving towards something totally different. When I talk about this the image I have in mind is Gehry's Stata Center.
I think that the underlying effect of Art Nouveau has been to influence change in design, whether it be large-scale or small scale.

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