What is Art Deco?
Art Deco was an art movement involving a mix of modern decorative art styles, largely of the 1920s and 1930s, whose main characteristics were derived from various avant-garde painting styles of the early twentieth century. Art deco works exhibit aspects of Cubism, Russian Constructivism and Italian Futurism -- with abstraction, distortion, and simplification, particularly geometric shapes and highly intense colors -- celebrating the rise of commerce, technology, and speed. The growing impact of the machine can be seen in repeating and overlapping images from 1925; and in the 1930s, in streamlined forms derived from the principles of aerodynamics. The name came from the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs Industriels et Modernes, held in Paris, which celebrated living in the modern world. It was popularly considered to be an elegant style of cool sophistication in architecture and applied arts which range from luxurious objects made from exotic material to mass produced, streamlined items available to a growing middle class. The original Art Deco period of the '20's and '30's is also known as the "Machine Age".

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