Thursday, February 22, 2018

the internationalization of Art Nouveau: "Jugedstil" and "Modernista"

stairwell in Riga

Known as Jugendstil in Germany, Sezessionstil in Austria, Modernista in Spain, and Stile Liberty or Stile Floreale in Italy, Art Nouveau has become the general term applied to a highly varied movement that was European-centred but internationally current at the end of the century. 
gate of the castle beranger, hector guimard

Art Nouveau architects gave idiosyncratic expression to many of the themes that had preoccupied the 19th century, ranging from Viollet-le-Duc's call for structural honesty to Sullivan's call foran organic architecture. 

Taken from Le Duc's Dictionary of French Architecture 9-16th century
The extensive use of iron and glass in Art Nouveau buildings was also rooted in 19th-century practice. In France, bizarre forms appeared in iron, masonry, and concrete, such as the structures of Hector Guimard for the Paris Métro (c. 1900), the Montmartre church of Saint-Jean L'Évangéliste by Anatole de Baudot, Xavier Schollkopf's house for the actress Yvette Guilbert at Paris, and the Samaritaine Department Store (1905) near the Pont Neuf in Paris, by Frantz Jourdain. 

Art Nouveau architect's preference for the curvilinear is especially evident in the Brussels buildings ofthe Belgian Victor Horta. In the Hôtel Van Eetvelde (1895) he used floral, tendrilous ornaments.  

Decorative exploitation of the architectural surface with flexible, S-shaped linear ornament, commonly called whiplash or eel styles,was indulged in by the Jugendstil and Sezessionstil architects. The Studio Elvira at Munich (1897-98) by August Endell and Otto Wagner's Majolika Haus at Vienna (c. 1898) are two of the more significant examples of this German and Austrian use of line.

(1) make beautiful things available to everyone 
(2) no object is too utilitarian.
(3) nouveau sees no separation in principle between high and low and applied or decorative arts (ceramics, furniture, and other practical objects)
(4) nouveau reacts against the precise and clean geometry of Neoclassicism. it's a form of maximalism.
(5) a new graphic design language, as far away as possible from the historical and classical models employed by the arts academies. it's pretty free-spirited within the conventions of the time,