Monday, September 29, 2008

Art Nouveau & Vienna Secession, A

Secession Design proved to be the most influential aspect of Art Nouveau. While florid curves of Belgian and French Art Nouveau came to be regarded as unconventional and willfully decorative, the more geometric forms of the Vienna work were more easily related to modernism. The movements of honesty through materials, and emphasis on puristic simplicity definitely carried into the modern world.
Two individuals were highly influential in the confining of the role of Art Nouveau in America. These two people were Sullivan and Tiffany. Neither were opposed to ornament as they both used much of it in their designs. Sullivan was known as the pioneer of modernism, and was the advocate of “form follows function”. (Pile, 295) Sullivan’s actual personal term of Art Nouveau was related to detail. Interiors and details continued to use nature based, florid ornament. He based his design around Curving art nouveau forms, which was later changed by one of his most significant students, Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright took his ideas and began to incorporate a more geometric design of his own. (Pile ,298) Tiffany used ornament through stained glass design. His designs were used in “residences, clubs, and similar locations his landscapes, floral, and semi abstract themes showed increasing similarity to French Nouveau work in glass.” (Pile, 296)
American Art Nouveau was looked at by many as a “style that failed”, or to dismissing it as “frivolous, tasteless, and even overly decorative.” (Pile, 299) But it wasn’t until World War II when the style was rediscovered and new studies brought it back into it’s rightful place. Do you think that Art Nouveau was a crucial step in the development of modernism and design today? Do you think that the ideas of these men of ornament and aesthetics are overshadowed by function in any cases today? How has recent interest in the Art Nouveau era established these designers as major figures in the movement?

6 comments:

Sara Watson said...

I think Art Nouveau was a crucial step to modernism and today's design. I also think that the Arts and Crafts movement was a big step towards modernism. Art Nouveau got people to experiment. Ornamentation played a big part into the design. Now it's function first. The ornamentation of Art Nouveau takes a backseat to function these days. Sullivan and Tiffany have become major figures today because people are beginning to realize how innovative their work was. Art Nouveau is one of my favorite styles. I think it works in today's design world because it fits into what people are trying to do today. The linear lines and geometric forms are still popular.

Molly Rowland said...

The Art Nouveau movement was definitely a crucial step towards modernism. During this period the influence of nature was finally incorporated into design. For exmaple, Frank Lloyd Wright took the horizon lines and forms of nature to create works like Falling Water, which was made up of numerous horizontal lines. Furthermore, the Art Nouveau movement allowed for a connection between art and nature with the works of designers like Sullivan and Tiffany. This new connection was shown through organic lines, which at first may have been rejected due to their uniqueness, but today, that connection between design and nature is very apparent in modern design.

Kayla.E said...

Yes i do believe that Art Nouveau was a crucial step in the development of modernism and design today. During the Art Nouveau period there was alot of experimentation with new materials, modern materials and techniques.To a certain extent kind of but not really, because you can plainly see the simplictic, naturalistic inspiration stil in most pieces/spaces.Recent interests have established these designers as major figures in the movement because of their ideas and personal style that helped develop their design. It seperated it from the other design ideas from the eras around it and was something fresh and new.

Elizabeth Chaffin said...

Art Nouveau brought about experimentation and a time when the unexpected could actually be expected. Sullivan and Tiffany were bold designers even in a time when others thought it was ridiculous. It wasn't until shortly after their initial instatement that people began to appreciate the Art Nouveau movement, which would later lead to similar movements such as the Arts and Crafts movement, eventually framing the path for modernism.

Parahita Rachmani said...

Art Nouveau rejected the heavy ornamentation of the Victorian style and all historic imitations, instead, the use of modern materials, such as iron and glass, was preferably incorporated. Hence, I believe that Art Nouveau did become one of the starting steps towards modernism. Not only did the designers experimented with new materials, forms also became more asymmetrical and curvilinear. This new approach of choosing nature as a base form for ornamentation somewhat allowed design to be more carefree and informal. I suppose this what makes the designers from this period became prominent that they bravely embraced their freedom and spontaneity on creative expression. Attitude that has influenced and generated modern design up until today, as well as future design for years to come.

Kelsey said...

I think that in some cases like Hotel Tassel, is an example where the oramentation highly overshadows the function, yet there is still functionality. The incredibly decorative stairs were still just stairs, they just had an incredible amount of detail and decoration which distracted. And the Tiffany lamps were highly functional, but incredibly decorative. Just like hotel tassel, their decoration overshadowed their function, but it didn't take away from the function. It just become another way of designing the same thing. And of course, because I am living 50+ years after the development of these things, I have the 20/20 hindsight to see how important they became in the development of modern design. So I belive the art nouveau movement was important to design and lead to where we are today. I believe it brought about a freedom and whimsy to design that we had never really seen before.

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