Comprised entirely of works selected from the National Gallery of Australia collection, this exhibition provides superb examples of the diverse expressions of Art Deco.
From around the 1920s, Australian artists responded to the international movement towards modernism and Art Deco. Shaking off the austerity of World War I they created images of an abundant nation filled with strong, youthful figures, capturing the vitalism of a nation reborn. Technological advancements and urbanisation influenced the emergence of Art Deco: a new aesthetic in art, architecture, design and fashion.
With its bold, simplified shapes and emphasis on geometry and line, Art Deco provided the right aesthetic for the times. Buildings lost their decorative embellishments, fashion became less structured and corseted, and women were enjoying greater freedoms, such as the right to vote and to travel unchaperoned. The image of the stylish independent woman became popular in portraiture and graphic design for posters and advertisements. The art also encapsulated the excitement for many people around the potential to travel across continents and internationally.
A National Gallery of Australia Exhibition
[This exhibition is supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to the national collections for all Australians.]
IMAGE: Margarete Heymann-Loebenstein, Tea set (c.1928) Glazed earthenware: slip cast. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased with the assistance of Diana Woollard 1988