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The Bauhaus school in Germany is arguably the epicentre of what is largely considered to be the quintessentially Modernist style. As the birthplace of mid-century European art, design and architecture, the school saw more than its fair share of the most highly regarded practitioners teach and study there, including Anni and Josef Albers, Marcel Breuer, Paul Klee, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Wassily Kandinsky.
Underpinning the style that has become synonymous with the school was a fundamental belief in uniting disparate arts - synthesising architecture, furniture, sculpture, painting, print and typefaces - through a focus on the material, constructing form as it is dictated by the characteristics of steel, concrete, leather or paint. This produced works of art and design and spaces that are absolutes. They abide by a formula that achieves a gorgeous harmony through a simplification of materials and colours, narrowing down the palette to neutral shades and rendering chairs and tables in the purest shape - here the efficacy of the cuboid reigns supreme, and the bare surfaces of chrome and concrete win out.
The post-war years for Britain and America marked a stark regeneration and upheaval of social and cultural mores. As art quickly transitioned through Abstract Expressionism and geometric abstract painting, and the memories of World War Two were dissolved or repressed, an energetic, audacious style emerged that combined the flashy, attention-grabbing colours of billboards, packaging, comic-books, street-signage and celebrity gossip columns into the most revered of art objects.
Pop Art was doubtless the coming-of-age story of the post-war youth, and the 'street' style reflected their sly rebellion. Taking the aesthetics of commerce, Pop Art channeled the slick shapes of Coca-Cola, the famous faces of Monroe and Taylor, the smallest comic book cell, and upscaled these household names and pictures to the status of contemporary art, most famously in the works of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and James Rosenquist. What the Pop ideology did was to elevate the quotidian to the exceptional, taking primary colours, uniformity, the commonplace, and expanding on that by repetition and size.
Whilst relatively short-lived from its emergence to its outmoding between the 1920s and the beginning of World War Two, Art Deco remains one of the signature styles of the Twentieth Century and one of its most enduring aesthetics, owed in part for its celebrated adoption in Manhattan in such examples as the Chrysler Building and 30 Rockefeller Center. Renowned for its elaborate gilding, its highly stylised figures and reductive interpretation of form, the movement - like Bauhaus - took pride in its materials, combining the slick, raw surfaces with an exceptional flair and pomp, foregrounding symmetry and rationality in pattern and design.
Evocative of the economic boom-time of the 1920s, Art Deco's gold, chrome, marble and steel details exude an air of modest luxuriance, foregoing ornate "fussiness" for uncluttered structures and shapes. Across riveted buildings, chrome plated trains and statuary, Art Deco is a style that can be best incorporated into a living space by paying close attention to edges, shapes and materials.
Esmerelda artwork, made from fractals of layered wood giving way to stylistic geometric forms or Kashmir, with it's angular configurations outlined in bronze will bring a distinct Art Deco allure to your home.
One of the elder statesmen of art and design, the Arts & Crafts movement that was centered in Britain at the turn of the 20th Century embraced an affluent naturalism and taste for rural living, developing against the tide of the industrial, economic boom across Europe. Escaping the city, artists, designers and writers such as Edward Burne-Jones, William Morris and John Ruskin worked across media to develop an aesthetic and taste for art and architecture that welcomed the handmade, the organic and the crude.
Morris' famous contribution to the Arts & Crafts movement was undoubtedly his interior designs, best represented at examples of his properties such as the Red House, near Bexleyheath. This style harked back to the freedom of the Gothic, but built on its legacy, employing a sumptuous loyalty to rich woods and tiles, textiles and fabrics. With a delightfully warming and homely sense, the Arts & Crafts aesthetic marks the origins of what might be considered the contemporary English, rural 'look' - assembling objects and patterns that are full of life, paying homage to the natural beauty of the countryside.
Bring an element of Arts & Crafts style into your home with In The Breeze from our mixed media artwork collection. With a lotus of delicate leaves lying elegantly in a natural wood frame, it adds a subtle and natural whimsical touch to any scheme. Or if you want to make more of a statement, opt for our large scale Mythical Land mural wallpaper, which will whisk you away to tales of old, with it's lively river bordered with wild flowers and an elegant tree gowing giant pears: a typically rural, yet magical, folk scene.