Art for Interiors: Art Deco Paintings

by Lisa Doherty 6. March 2018 16:56

The Art Deco look has become a timeless classic. Interior trends have arrived, gone, come back and gone again, but Art Deco has remained constant.

The main reason for this is because it is a style that remains modern in its look and feel and doesn’t seem to date. Not only that, but it’s constantly evolving to work with contemporary interiors.

If you’re in the process of recreating this style in your home, we take a look at how Art Deco  painting and photography can help you complete the look.

The Art Deco style

Originating in the 1920’s and 30’s, Art Deco is made up of strong geometric lines and shapes, such as triangles and circles, and also uses bold colours. It was heavily influenced by the latest technology of the day and drew from artistic and creative styles from the Orient and Persia.

The style grew out of a need from Designers, Architects and Artists to create a more ‘modern’ look. This new look was immediately popular and became a key style for almost anything, such as buildings, fashion, furniture, and, of course, art.

For Art Deco artists, the Cubist and Fauvist art movements were the main influences, and you can see this clearly in paintings through the use of strong, ‘block-like’ figures and shapes, and bright colours, such as yellow and red. The key artists of this movement consisted of Tamara De Lempicka and Sonia Delauney.

MANSCAPE 3 by John Varden
MANSCAPE 3 by John Varden

A coffee with Tamara de Lempicka by Jean-pierre Walter
A coffee with Tamara de Lempicka by Jean-pierre Walter

How to choose an Art Deco painting?

An Art Deco painting is very distinctive and easy to recognise. They also tend to stick mainly to three themes, which are figurative studies, abstract shapes or landscapes.

If you’re looking for a figurative image, then the Art Deco movement focused mainly on nude studies or portraits. If you’re especially influenced by the work of Tamara De Lempicka, then look for portraits with accentuated curves, or with a ‘solid’ or ‘heavy figured’ feel to it.

The Art deco period was also a time of innovation in travel and transport, as cruise liners, high speed trains and air travel became more affordable and increased in popularity.

As a result, posters became even more popular during this period and were treated as works of art in their own right, so think iconic London Underground posters or adverts for trains, Cars, or Cruise ships. Who doesn’t love this style?!

Two Figures, Aqueduct by Miles Bodimeade
Two Figures, Aqueduct by Miles Bodimeade

Cat and I. by Carron  Howe
Cat and I. by Carron Howe

In the morning by Florentina(anca)  popescu
In the morning by Florentina(anca) popescu

BSA motorcycle poster by Michael Gadd
BSA motorcycle poster by Michael Gadd

Modern art deco

If you want to create a more modern Art Deco look, then it’s worth looking at abstract art or photography to bring the look up to date.

Modern Art Deco colours are still very much based around monochrome, but they are now mixed with elements of pastel Pink, Gold or Green.

This is the beauty of this style and one of the reasons why it has stood the test of time, as it can be adapted, brought up to date so easily and work with a modern or traditional look.

The City at Night by Neil Hemsley
The City at Night by Neil Hemsley Beginnings by belinda jackson
Beginnings by belinda jackson DUVER VIEW by Suzanne Whitmarsh
DUVER VIEW by Suzanne Whitmarsh

The best rooms for Art Deco

As we all know, the 1920’s are synonymous with partying, so this look does tend to work better in the more social spaces around the home, such as lounges, dining rooms or even the home-office. This style also works in bedrooms and bathrooms, so you can wow house guests when they come to stay.

Overall, Art Deco is quite an indulgent and decadent style, so it works well in a room where you can really show-off. As a result, you can either go all out for patterned wallpaper or go for a sleek monochromatic look, which is broken-up with pops of colour from fabrics or paintings.

The Art Deco style also calls for a lot of geometry, not just through shapes, but also in the use of furniture and accessories such as lamps and chairs, which are always used in pairs to balance out a room.

This geometry is also worth considering when choosing art. A painting that works as a pair – also known as a diptych - can be placed either side by side or further apart on a wall, which could provide balance over a fireplace or desk in a home office.

So, whether you’re in a new build, or even a Victorian home, there is a lot of scope and range to work with. And, even if you’re a modern or traditional Art Deco-ist, this is a style you can have a lot of fun with.

Art is a great way to help you express your look, but don’t think it is something that is the left to the pursuit of the super-rich; there are paintings available to suit all budgets, tastes, and of course, styles…so what are you waiting for, it’s time to get creative!

The Three Hills (Diptych) by David Moore
The Three Hills (Diptych) by David Moore Waterloo by Rebecca Coleman
Waterloo by Rebecca Coleman Surrey Landscape 7 by Jan Rippingham
Surrey Landscape 7 by Jan Rippingham


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