Reactionist Styles

20 Apr

The reactions against the Victorian Age and the Industrial Revolution were numerous and very interesting. The Aesthetic movement is a philosophical view celebrating beauty for beauty’s sake. There is no moral or sentimental message and the social problems of the time were of no concern. A disconnection from the ugliness of poverty and industrialization of the time was sharp witted and brilliant as was its representative Oscar Wilde. One strain of the Aesthetic movement was interested in a Western interpretation of Asian design with a focus between contrast of void and presence, dark and light, transparencies and the attenuated line.
Oscar Wilde EW Godwin desk
Macintosh is representative of Scottish designers Charles Macintosh and his wife Margaret McDonald. The Macintosh movement is noted for its own vocabulary of symbolism representing the masculine and feminine and for the first time design was strictly focused on the interior of a home and was not concerned with the exterior at all. The effect of light at different times of the day. The design was considered to be turn-key as they designed everything in the space including furniture, and fixtures. The interaction of the pieces with the light changing throughout the day with a 3-D exploration of concepts. Their work is noted for its strong linear and geometric features as well as the use of their signature Scottish rose.Mackintosh_Charles_Rennie-The_Hill_House_-_interior_hall-c.1903-m
Art Nouveau is a movement in opposition to the industrial revolution and celebrates nature romantically. Cycles of birth, growth, maturity and death represented in the Art Nouveau movement are to put us in touch with nature and restore balance to our souls. The designs are very curvilinear and asymmetrical. There are no right angles. Art Nouveau is a reaction to the Arts and Crafts movement which tried to revitalize the crafts of the past in history where Art Nouveau utterly rejects history as part of its movement. Art Nouveau emphasizes life at the moment of change and seems alive, with a high level of anticipated movement.
There is a focus on botany and biomimicry with the incorporation of insect wings and plants of all types flowing in the designs of Art Nouveau. art nouveau metalwork
art nouveau woodwork art nouveau doorway
The Vienna Secession is noted for its geometric emphasis and linear ornamentation. The Vienna Secession sought an equality between applies arts and fine arts. There is a connection to the Arts and Craft movement but in a much more industrial and mechanical expression in design such as the Thonet chairs of Austria, the Barcelona Chair and the architectural styles of Henry Hobson Richardson. Richardson was noted for his medieval style with heavy stone walls, towers and romanesque semi-circular arch known as the Richardsonian Arch. Barcelona Chair, 1929 Mies van der Rohe

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Posted by on April 20, 2013 in History 221 Class Notes


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